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Malaysia Aims to Set Regional Standard for Safe Travel

Melaka, just one of Malaysia's appealing travel destinations | Image Credit: Legion Travel
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Superb vaccination rates in the country, coupled with the cooperation of four major Malaysian travel organisations and acclaimed international certification partner Bureau Veritas have given Malaysia a head start in offering a high standard of travel confidence to post-Covid tourists.

It all started with what has been nearly universally acclaimed as Malaysia’s high point during the long-running Covid-19 pandemic: the country’s stunningly effective nationwide vaccination drive. There was admittedly an early stumble in the opening weeks of the effort, but it was quickly sorted, and as of now, less than 10 months after the vaccines first arrived in Malaysia, over 90% of the country’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. Few other countries can make such an impressive claim, and it’s truly a sterling credit to Malaysia.

That high level of vaccination, coupled with plunging rates of hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid, have allowed high-level talks to commence on reopening the country and restarting the long-suffering travel and tourism industries, which have been decimated by the nearly two years-long pandemic.

Those talks culminated on Sunday, October 10, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the “Travel Safe Alliance Malaysia” initiative (TSAM) between four of Malaysia’s biggest travel-related organisations, along with the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri. The auspicious signing event took place at The Danna in Langkawi and is a significant step towards Malaysia once again welcoming international travellers.

The Danna Langkawi was the venue for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Sunday, October 10

The travel industry has been dramatically changed by Covid-19, and many of those changes will be permanent. In recognition of the demands of a post-Covid world, Malaysia has set forth to reinvent and revitalise the crucial travel, tourism, and MICE sector that is so important to Malaysia’s economy and international image.

The four organisations involved in the TSAM initiative include:

  • Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)
  • Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH)
  • Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS)
  • Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), comprising Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, and MASWings
Tourism Minister YB Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri delivered the keynote speech at the signing event

In his introductory remarks to the assembled guests and media, MATTA President YB Datuk Tan Kok Liang hailed the Travel Safe Alliance as a new way of approaching public-private travel partnerships, one “that will provide our tourism industry with a cutting-edge advantage in this post-pandemic era.”

The TSAM signing event in Langkawi marked the cornerstone of this cooperative effort to change the way we look at travel, and to engage with local stakeholders and international partners to ensure safety, hygiene, and the promotion of a high level of confidence in Malaysia as a safe travel destination.

With the assistance of Bureau Veritas, TSAM’s internationally recognised certification partner, the three leading associations MATTA, MAH, and MACEOS have developed travel safe solutions based on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and further enhanced to cater to Malaysia’s specific industry and local safety and health requirements; namely the “Travel Safe” label for travel and tour arrangers, “Clean &
Safe Malaysia” for hotels, and “SafeBE” for Business Events and convention venues.

Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri presenting the TSAM Certificate to a member of the St Regis Langkawi and Westin Langkawi management team

Moreover, Malaysia Airlines, the flagship airline of the country and of Malaysia Aviation Group, has achieved the coveted seven-star certified ranking for Covid compliance and seamless, safe, and hygienic travel, as conferred by the respected airlineratings.com through its “Fly Confidently” campaign.

The Travel Safe Alliance, in conjunction with similar initiatives in other regional countries – namely Singapore, primarily – will provide end-to-end “safe travel solutions” for both business and leisure travels.

Promoted

It’s a very welcome step in the right direction that will materially aid Malaysia’s economic recovery efforts in a post-Covid world.

Seated from L-R: Mr Francis Teo (President of MACEOS), YB Dato’ N. Subramaniam (President of MAH), YB Datuk Tan Kok Liang (President of MATTA), Capt. Izham Ismail (Group CEO of MAG); Standing, centre: YB Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri (Minister, MOTAC)



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