KUCHING (June 25): The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture hopes that standard operating procedures (SOPs) in Sarawak can be relaxed to enable the tourism sector to operate.
Its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this would hopefully occur when Sarawak achieves its target of vaccinating 80 per cent of the population by August.
“Of course, we will be scrutinising the situation from day to day and remain vigilant as we want to see the tourism industry open up as it is severely affected.
“Looking at the rate of (infection) cases in Sarawak, I believe by the end of this year or early next year, it may be good for tourism either Sarawak or Malaysia,” he told a press conference after visiting the industrial Covid-19 vaccination centre organised by the Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre here today.
Abdul Karim said whether or not the border is open to foreign tourists, the state’s tourism industry must operate by targeting Sarawak’s own local tourists.
He said domestic operations would allow visitors such as from Miri or Sibu to come to Kuching or vice versa, where they can stay at hotels or eat at the restaurants and so on.
“However, what we want now is movement control should be a bit relaxed like allowing hotels to stay, opening eateries, and so on.
“This is all in preparation before the industry is fully opened to outsiders as our entrepreneurs also need to revive their economies.
“Even in preparation, now many of our tourism activities or events have to be done online or virtually to keep the momentum of our industry moving,” he added.