Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — The island of Langkawi will this month become the first Malaysian holiday hotspot to reopen to domestic travellers, officials said Friday, kicking off efforts to revive the coronavirus-battered tourism industry.
But curbs are slowly being eased, and Langkawi has been chosen for a pilot project as the industry seeks to get back on its feet.
From September 16, hotels and businesses such as theme parks will reopen, and beach activities will be allowed again, the tourism ministry said.
The move will boost “tourism industry players who have been impacted by the sector’s closure”, the ministry said in a statement.
Requirements for those visiting Langkawi, just miles from Thailand’s southern border, are still being worked out.
The island off Malaysia’s northwest coast, home to palm-fringed beaches, has long been popular with domestic and overseas visitors.
But officials did not say when foreign tourists, who are still barred from entering Malaysia, might be allowed back in.
Malaysia has in recent weeks eased strict curbs for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to freely engage in some activities such as dining at restaurants.
Its vaccination roll-out has picked up speed, with nearly 66 per cent of the adult population fully inoculated, but infection rates remain high — officials reported more than 19,000 cases and 330 deaths Friday.
Neighbouring Thailand has reopened several islands, including hotspot Phuket, to vaccinated foreign tourists.
Follow us on Social Media
Send in your scoops to email@example.com