Interstate Travel - What Tourism Players Should Know

Following the recent announcement by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, domestic tourism travel between states placed under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is now allowed starting from 10th March 2021 with conditions. 

Domestic tourism travel conditions under RMCO 

  • Travel with registered travel agencies under MOTAC only will be allowed
  • No private transport is allowed for interstate travel 
  • A permit from PDRM must be obtained before travel 

States and federal territories in Malaysia that are placed under CMCO and RMCO
~Updated on 18 March 2021

RMCO (19-31 March 2021) CMCO (19-31 March 2021)
Kedah Selangor
Perak WP Kuala Lumpur
Negeri Sembilan Johor
Perlis Penang
Melaka Kelantan
Pahang Sarawak
WP Labuan  

Travel Agency Reaction on Domestic Travel Tourism with Conditions

Malaysia's travel agencies are badly affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike other sectors, this sector received some of the biggest impacts and hardly recover from it in the past year.  Before this, they sold ski and safari tours and travel packages to popular destinations like Japan, Korea, and Turki. Now, they are selling fruits and other consumer products online to stay afloat. While some travel agents are still actively promoting their packages like Mayflower who are launching their ‘makan angin’ packages here.

Now with the recent announcement, many travel agencies are looking for opportunities to bring back their businesses. 

What Travel Agencies need to do?

  1. Stay updated with the latest info about RMCO states and covid-19 cases
  2. Promote attractive travel packages in RMCO states that cover elder and young adults. Exp:  Family Package, Honeymoon Package, or Buddy Package.
  3. Best, if you can compile a detailed itinerary on social media and landing page. Tourist can pick any travel package and consult with you in detail
  4. Commute using tour agency vehicles registered with the Tourism, Arts. and Culture Ministry (MOTAC)
  5. Provide or work together with a domestic bus ‘persiaran’ and van ‘persiaran’ (as of now these vehicles registered under MOTAC) to be included in the package.
  6. Tour agencies' vehicles can transit from one RMCO state via a CMCO state but are not allowed to stop at any areas in CMCO states.
  7. Prioritize hotels that have a ‘safe and clean’ certificate from MOTAC.
  8. When you have enough people and it is near the time to bring them to go travel, bring your travel itinerary along with the list of tourists to the nearest police station and apply for interstate permission on behalf of tourists.
  9. Offer a flexible modification date and a refundable deposit for tourist confidence to book a travel package with you. Be prepared for any last-minute changes as certain states can change status from RMCO to MCO.

PEMERKASA Economy Stimulus by Government

PEMERKASA programme is launched to help the tourism industry. According to the latest announcement, Travel Agencies will receive an RM3,000 one-off and tax exemption and electricity bill discount. All this information can be found on Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) website and they will also explain how to explain it. However, up until now (18 Mac 2021) there is no update on how we can apply for the PEMERKASA programme, but I believe it will be updated from time to time.  

Hotelier Reaction on Domestic Travel Tourism with Conditions

Unlike Travel Agents, many Hoteliers voice their dissatisfaction and think this is ridiculous. They have the thought that most travelers will prefer to use their own transport as it will give them freedom and they will feel safer. Plus, they will be able to choose which hotel they want to stay. Unlike travel with a travel agency, they can't choose the hotel.

But, the decision has been made by the government. For now, we have to follow the rules and regulations that have been stated. Why not see this from the bright side and prepare something that can bring the travelers to stay at your hotel? 

What Hotel can Do?

There’s a lot of things a hotelier can do to turn around the situation. Or at least enough to stay afloat and survive. Other than government help with a moratorium, SME Grant, extension waiver, electricity bill discount, and tax deduction, The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia (MOTAC) also played their role by providing some solutions that can help hoteliers. Below are some of the ways hoteliers can benefit from these.

Participate in the ‘Clean and Safe Malaysia’. 

Certification programmes for sanitizing and disinfecting by The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture of Malaysia (MOTAC) are supposed to increase tourist confidence to stay in your hotel. It will be a benchmark of hygiene and safety standards for the hotel industry of Malaysia. The registration process is easy and you can do it online. 

Where to register?
  1. Register Here
    After log in, you will receive details of the audit with pricing.

  2. Download
    Download MAH Clean & Safe Hotel Certification Guideline
    The guideline will be automatically downloaded once registration is completed

  3. Audit
    Field audit to be carried out during your operation hour with an efficient methodology to ensure minimizing interruption.
    For hotels located outside Klang Valley, accommodation will be arranged with the auditing hotels (random selection) 

  4. Certification and Label Granted
    Bureau Veritas will grant hotels / resorts with the certificate as well as the Label. 
    The label comes with a unique barcode that allows tracing of hotels / resorts certification information, as well as hotel information, through our global public website designed especially for this project.

  5. Continuous Compliance
    Certificates and labels are valid for 3 years. An annual audit is needed for each valid certification.

Hotel Sector to Work together with the Travel agency 

At the current moment, only travel agents have permission for interstate travel. This might be your chance to approach a travel agent and work together with them by offering attractive hotel packages that cater to their package for tourists. Find more lists of Travel Operating Business and Travel (TOBTAB) and start approaching them. 

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