Tourism Malaysia held its virtual press conference at the third edition of the Gulf Travel Show with the most exciting news that Langkawi hopes to open for international tourists by mid-November this year.
It was discussed that Langkawi will be the first destination to open to international travelers and six others are to follow. In his opening remarks, Noor Azman Samsudin, Deputy Director International Promotion Division (Asia & Africa), Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board shared that West Asia and the Gulf region has been one of the most important markets to Malaysia. “Summer has always been a key driver of tourists from the Middle East, however in 2020 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions the numbers deterred. Since the government announced its four phase national recovery plan which included national vaccination programme and keeping a tab on the daily rate of infected persons etc, however as the numbers have seen a decrease the country is now gearing up to welcome international travelers again to kick start from the island of Langkawi. Before the pandemic we had 31 flights per week from all Middle Eastern countries from UAE, Oman, Qatar, Iran etc so we believe that we will cautiously get there.”
Speaking about the exciting news announcement Nasaruddin Bin Abdul Muttalib Chief Executive Officer Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) reiterated, “Langkawi is currently open for domestic tourism since 16th September 2021. Within this 26 days after opening for the domestic market we have received around 82,000 visitors so far which is an indicator of success. There has been no infection during this time and we consider that since 92% of the people are vaccinated we are ready to open for international travelers, however we are still awaiting the official statement from the government. From 10th October 2021, it was announced that Malaysians can now travel abroad. We will open the borders to all countries in mid November. We have become the pioneer for tourism as we have an international airport and the only way to enter is either via air or by sea, this will allow the authorities to keep the situation monitored and under control. We require 72 hour PCR test before travel to our destination and upon arriving the guests can go directly to their hotels but within 8 hours there will be a PCR test conducted. We do not want to crowd the airports hence we have taken this decision to conduct the test once the guest arrives in their hotel. We are also encouraging MICE travel to the destination and will incentivizing them.”