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Covid-19: Malacca develops strategies to protect tourism sector

12 Feb 2020 / 18:30 H.

MALACCA: The state government is developing new strategies to reduce the impact on the tourism sector in Malacca, particularly the hotel industry, following the cancellation of tourist bookings from China due to the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Chief Minister Adly Zahari (pix) said one of the possible initiatives was to focus on the health tourism sector, especially among tourists from Indonesia.

He said there were only about 700,000 Indonesian tourists to Malacca, including for treatments in private hospitals, to date, which could increase to over one million if promotions and attractive packages were offered.

“We have four private hospitals offering health services and they are in high demand among foreign tourists especially at Mahkota Medical Centre, but there is more room available to accommodate the arrival of health tourists in the other three private hospitals.

“We believe that health tourism is the best sub-sector that can be boosted in line with the current situation where health services are needed,“ he told a press conference after the state executive council meeting, here today.

Yesterday, the media reported that the Malaysian Association of Travel and Travel Agents (Matta) had confirmed the cancellation of about 95,000 hotel bookings in the country as a result of coronavirus outbreaks, citing most of the cancellations were made by visitors from China.

Commenting further, Adly said focus would also be given to attracting domestic tourists to the state especially to increase room bookings or support the hotel industry in Malacca.

He said various programmes or activities could be implemented at the hotel including meetings, conventions and exhibitions including involving government agencies and departments.

“We will also look at large-scale programmes that can be implemented to attract domestic tourists during the Covid-19 outbreak with the cooperation of various parties and take into account the advice of the State Health Department,“ he added. - Bernama

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