Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Sunday, August 15, 2021

Malaysia planning to restart tourism with resort island bubbles

Malaysia plans to implement a tourism bubble network on some of its most popular island destinations.

Last week Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was looking at plans to open Langkawi as a tourism bubble pilot project.

Now, Tourism Minister Nancy Shukri says the idea has been extended to include the resort islands of Pangkor, Redang, Tioman and Perhentian, as they could reach herd immunity vaccination rates by the end of this month.

That would allow them to reopen by September, the minister said.

It will ultimately depend on what protocols the government imposes for a reopening.

"The decision to reopen the tourism sector must be made after an in depth study and with great care to prevent an outbreak. At the same time, the ministry is updating and finalising the SOPs for the tourism sector," the Tourism Ministry said.

As in Thailand, the bubble approach works well on resort islands, that are physically easier to manage tourist movement, Nancy said.

The  Prime Minister said those allowed to travel to Langkawi would have to be fully vaccinated and this is expected to be imposed for the other islands as well.

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