KUCHING: Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) is confident that tourism industry players are ready to receive foreign tourists when the country's borders reopen on Apr 1.
Its minister Nancy Shukri said that her ministry had held meetings with tourism industry players before the decision to reopen the borders was made.
She explained that she had also asked them to be prepared in various aspects including upgrading their facilities.
"(Yes, I'm sure) the industry players are ready. Before the government announced the reopening of the borders, I had asked them to be ready,” she told reporters after launching the National Craft Institute's Sarawak Satellite Campus on Saturday (Mar 19).
On Mar 8, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysia would enter its transition period to the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on Apr 1 and that the country's borders would be reopened from that date.
Following the announcement, Mdm Nancy on Mar 16 said that MOTAC was targeting 2 million tourist arrivals in Malaysia this year leading to revenue of more than RM6.8 billion (US$1.6 billion).
Meanwhile, Mdm Nancy said to achieve the target of 2 million tourist arrivals, MOTAC had formulated various strategies to achieve the goal.
She underscored that this includes focusing on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
“This is one of our ways to bring in tourists, we have also managed to bid for certain business events to be organised in Malaysia.
"If we only focus on regular tourism, it may be difficult to reach a high number of tourists, so we need to create opportunities for MICE events to help industry players," she said.