Ever since COVID-19 dashed all our travel dreams, Malaysians have been longing for the day when they can freely travel again.
Here's some good news: you can very soon do so.
Pilot travel bubble programme
Everyone's favourite island destination, Pulau Langkawi, is set to reopen for business next week, The Edge Markets
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri announced on Thursday (2 September) that Langkawi has been selected as the pilot of the tourism bubble programme for local tourists from 16 September, which also happens to be Malaysia Day.
Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib told the news portal that nearly all tourism products and activities on the island are expected to be open to tourists.
However, Nasaruddin said the final approval lies in the hands of the National Security Council (MKN).
"We will open all tourism products, in terms of hotels, business premises, eateries and other activities such as water sports. Each product requires its own SOP and we leave it to the MKN to decide on it.
"We hope the MKN will issue the SOP soon so as to facilitate the public to make plans before coming to Langkawi and tourism operators in Langkawi will also be prepared," he was quoted as saying.
When Langkawi officially opens its doors on 16 September, Nasaruddin said they are expecting at least 5,000 visitors to Langkawi daily, either via the ferry services or direct flights.
Seven activities approved
While we are still waiting for news on the SOPs, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Motac) has released a list of approved activities that can take place on the island.
According to a statement quoted by Bernama
, Motac will be allowing seven main tourism activities in Langkawi.
The seven activities are:
- Accommodation at hotels and homestays - All facilities within the premises of the hotel are allowed
- Business events - Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), as well as tourism and cultural events, are allowed
- Beach activities - Water sports, snorkeling, scuba diving, tourism fishing, edutainment centres, recreational parks, extreme or adventure sports or nature parks, farms, aquarium, zoo and other recreational and social activities are allowed
- Eco geo-adventure activities - Camping, hiking, caving and jungle tracking are allowed
- Special interest tourism - Golf, scuba diving, cycling, angling and yachting are allowed
- Art, culture and heritage premises - Museums, libraries, art galleries, village cultural heritage centres and cultural stage performance are allowed to open
- Theme parks and family entertainment centres - Academic visits to Balai Seni, Geopark Discovery Center and Laman Padi are allowed
Motac added that the list would be updated and announced in more detail soon, subject to current changes.