KUCHING: Sarawak is hoping to fully lift its interstate travel ban and launch its own travel bubble initiative in the near future, said Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture minister said that the federal government aimed to open interstate travel by the time 90 percent of adults in Malaysia were fully vaccinated with two doses.
“We hope to announce interstate travels very soon. So, by the time interstate travel is permitted, we can have a travel bubble initiative in Sarawak since there are so many destinations here that can be projected.
“However, I do not have the right to make an announcement; it must be made by the National Security Council (NSC). Therefore, I will leave the matter to NSC,” she said during a press conference in conjunction with a working visit and the launch of the Sarawak Cultural Village Roof Restoration Project here at the Sarawak Cultural Village yesterday (Oct 3).
Nancy also revealed that she and the State Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah would be visiting a remote destination in Sarawak soon.
“It is our duty to promote our goods, particularly tourism-related items, and Langkawi has proven to be the best model thus far.
“Since the first day Langkawi was opened under the travel bubble project, the tourism industry on the island has shown an encouraging recovery, with 38,748 tourists generating over RM15 million in revenue in just two weeks.
“The figure also has surpassed the initial target of 30,000 tourists since the tourism bubble pilot project was launched on Sept 16,” she added.
Nancy termed the initiative as very inspiring and motivating for the ministry to carry on with the other plans for the other islands and tourism spots.
She added her ministry with counterparts from a number of other countries were planning to make Langkawi the first international bubble destination.
“Since we have Qatar Airways flying to Langkawi as well as China, Singapore and a slew of other international airlines, I believe Langkawi is the perfect example for the programme,” she said.