Malaysia borders: will they/won’t they?

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Malaysia’s tourism and medical tourism sectors are awaiting a decision by the government to draw a line under two years of pandemic uncertainty and pain and decide on reopening borders. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) warns the country will miss out on the tourism recovery as ASEAN neighbours start opening up again.

MATTA is calling for a gradual reopening by first allowing fully vaccinated travellers from across Southeast Asia. Inbound tourism from ASEAN countries makes up 70% of all foreign arrivals; most medical tourists are from this region.

MATTA has said it understands the importance of protecting the public healthcare system from being overwhelmed, but argues that it is equally important for the government to look into the livelihood of tourism players as Malaysia had shut borders for two years.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), the agency tasked to promote and facilitate Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry, continues to promote the country overseas and prepare new partnerships.  Recent partners include International Assistance (IASB) and HADID International Services (HADID). MHTC states that these partnerships will allow the industry to gain new customer pipelines while building brand presence for Malaysia Healthcare in ASEAN and Middle Eastern markets.