Special passport to revive tourism industry

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The state government has proposed a special passport to those who have been vaccinated, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“This special passport aims to facilitate travel by only allowing those who have received the vaccine to enter and exit the country. For now, we have not implemented this plan because the vaccination process is still at an early stage.

“I very much welcome this proposal so that our tourism industry will be able to breathe again and gradually recover.

“Therefore, those who have received the vaccine will be given this special passport to prove that they have been inoculated,” he said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Feb 28).

Abdul Karim said only those who have this special passport will be allowed to go through the national border gates for their respective affairs.

“Similarly, those who want to enter our country and state, they must have proof of vaccination.

“However, bilateral agreement is important to ensure the effectiveness of this control measure and so that it can benefit efforts to revive the tourism industry in general,” he said.

Last week, in The Star report, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said a vaccine passport or certificate could be a good start for the travel industry in the short to medium term.

“It should be able to facilitate and restore confidence in travel. However, there needs to be reciprocated arrangements with other countries,” he said.

Malaysian Tourism Council president Uzaidi Udanis, who was also polled by the daily, believes that a vaccine passport would be essential for the opening of borders.

“Industry players want to make sure that tourists are healthy before they come in,” he said.