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What is next for Malaysia Tourism?

A panel discussion with tourism experts from Malaysia ended a month of launch events for the World Tourism Network this week.

Organized by Rudolf Herrmann, head of the WTN Malaysia Chapter, a panel discussion included

  • Sook Ling Yap – Asian Overland Services DMC
  • Badaruddin Mohamed – USM Tourism
  • Presanth Chandra – TIN Media & MICE
    Jane Rai – Heritage Tour Guide with virtual options
  • Sam Liew – VP-PR WTN Malaysia
  • Skal
  • Tourism Malaysia
  • Malaysia Hotel Association

    On 23rd December, the expected pave way for tourism reopening in Malaysia was laid out by the honorable prime minister as well as by the tourism minister publicly. Since March 2020 there have been various movement control orders or lockdowns, along with restrictions to operate tourism-based businesses in Malaysia. The various associations and related organizations seem to have not been able to come up with feasible solutions to counter the devastating economic results in our trade which were caused by the pandemic and its effects.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of surveys by various authorities, to get to expected trends for post-pandemic travel in Malaysia. Key findings were:
Weekend travel domestically is kicking off first, breaks not too far from home. From March/April ‘21 onward medium-range air travel up to 4 hours comes up.

Customers focus on:

  • safety/hygiene/health-related issues
  • Stay with a closer group of people (friends/relatives)
  • Look for hotels with high hygiene standards
  • Choose restaurants with hygiene/safety
  • Customers prefer outdoor with air-circulation (Glamping, outdoor activities)
  • Train/bus travel not yet, whilst the flight is considerably okay.
  • 4/5-star brands instill customer confidence in safety and hygiene issues
  • Private accommodations like serviced/apartments raise health concerns
  • Destinations in demand are beach, mountain, countryside – opposed to cities
  • Group travel is less requested, private vehicles are the preferred choice.
  • People want to catch up on their missed travel 2020, plan twice for 2021 at least.
  • Health update APP at the destination for security reasons
  • How safe is the destination @ Covid cases?
  • The appeal of innovative products by providers (i.e. work from hotels)
  • T/O to find or develop niches/innovation, i.e. Virtual tours by heritage guide?
  • Use of technology necessary (touchless document scanning etc)
    Some must start, others will follow health tours/offers (yoga, outdoor etc…)
  • Sustainability issues to be addressed [toxin-free, plastic-free…]
    Rising support for local products to be considered
    Should it be a new norm to be tested Covid-negative before boarding an aircraft?
  • Countries could draw common plans to re-open travel faster
    -collective efforts to implement and push together
  • Next step: Climate crisis emergency declaration by ETOA
    (European Tourism Association)

    This is a selection of trends and questions to be used during the course if time permits only. Will be cut short during the running session, depending on the experts’ discussion and explanations.

To join World Tourism Network, visit