Genting & Tioman Island travel bubble reopening postponed

Earlier this month, Langkawi became the first tourist spot in the country to open its doors to fully vaccinated Malaysians in a much-anticipated travel bubble programme.

Following that news, The Smart Local Malaysia reported that Genting, Melaka and Tioman could be joining the Kedah locale in the travel bubble pilot project as well. Unfortunately, the planned programme for two of the spots in Pahang has been postponed indefinitely.

Reopening of tourist spots in Pahang to be announced later

Tioman Island in Pahang
Image credit: David Russo

Yesterday 28th September 2021, Tourism Pahang general manager Kamaruddin Ibrahim said that the Genting and Tioman travel bubble that was scheduled to commence on 1st October 2021 has been postponed following the recent announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who said that island resorts and tourism destinations, as well as interstate travel, would only be allowed when 90% of the adult population are vaccinated.

Due to this, the travel bubble at Pahang is temporarily suspended until further notice. For now, only those residing in the state will be allowed to visit their tourist spots by adhering to strict SOPs.

“For the out-of-state tourists who have already made reservations, we ask that they contact the tourism operators for advice, either to postpone their trip or otherwise,” Kamaruddin was quoted as saying by The Edge Markets.

Interstate travel permission expected by mid-October

Genting tourists
Image credit: Aaron Lee

Although the reopening of Genting and Tioman has been postponed, it is highly likely that these will be reopened when interstate travel resumes in the country sometime next month.

Former prime minister and president of the National Recovery Council (MPN) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told the press on Monday, 27th September 2021, that the decision to allow interstate travel will be announced soon latest by mid-October.

Besides, his committee is also looking into the feasibility of reopening the national border for international travellers in hopes of reviving the tourism industry in Malaysia. However, a lot of these decisions still depend on the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia and the vaccination rate.

Genting & Tioman Island travel bubble reopening postponed

It is sad to know that people couldn’t travel to Pahang as early as 1st October given that many may have made their bookings in advance. So, we do hope that the government will announce the new date soon.

It is likely that with ramped up Covid-19 vaccinations and the decreasing number of high-risk cases, the tourism industry in Malaysia will be opening soon.

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Cover image adapted from: David Russo and Aaron Lee

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