Malaysia Tourism: What is next? Panel Discussion by WTN

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Panel intro
Rudolf Herrmann – Governor WTN Malaysia
Sook Ling Yap – Asian Overland Services DMC
Badaruddin Mohamed – USM Tourism
Presanth Chandra – TIN Media & MICE
Jane Rai – Heritage Tour Guide with virtual options
Sam Liew – VP-PR WTN Malaysia
Skal [TBC]?
Tourism Malaysia [TBC]?
Malaysia Hotel Association [TBC]?
AirAsia [TBC]?
On 23rd December, the expected paveway for tourism reopening in Malaysia was laid out by the honorable prime minister as well as by the tourism minister publicly. Since March 2020 there have been various movement control orders or lockdowns, along with restrictions to operate tourism based businesses in Malaysia. The various associations and related organizations seem to have not been able to come up with feasible solutions to counter the devastating economic results in our trade which were caused by the pandemic and its effects.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of surveys by various authorities, to get to expected trends for post-pandemic travel in Malaysia. Key findings were:
Weekend travel domestically is kicking off first, breaks not too far from home. From March/April ‘21 onward medium-range air travel up to 4 hours comes up.
Customers focus on: safety/hygiene/health related issues
b. Stay with closer group of people (friends/relatives)
c. Look for hotels with high hygiene standards
d. Choose restaurants with hygiene/safety
Customers prefer outdoor with air-circulation (Glamping, outdoor activities)
Train/bus travel not yet, whilst flight is considerably okay.
4/5-star brands instill customer confidence in safety and hygiene issues
Private accommodations like serviced/appartments raise health concerns
Destinations in demand are beach, mountain, countryside – opposed to cities
Group travel is less requested, private vehicles are preferred choice.
People want to catch up their missed travel 2020, plan twice for 2021 at least.
Health update APP at destination for security reasons
How safe is the destination @ Covid cases?
Appeal of innovative products by providers (i.e. work from hotels insto home)
T/O to find or develop niches/innovation, i.e. Virtual tours by heritage guide?
Use of technology necessary (touchless document scanning etc)
Some must start, others will follow
Health tours/offers (yoga, outdoor etc…)
Sustainability issues to be addressed [toxin-free, plastic-free…]
Rising support for local products to be considered
Should it be a new norm to be tested Covid-negative before boarding an aircraft?
Countries could draw common plans to re-open travel faster
-> collective efforts to implement and push together
Next step: Climate crisis emergency declaration by ETOA
(European Tourism Association)
This is a selection of trends and questions to be used during the course if time permits only. Will be cut short during the running session, depending on the experts’ discussion and explanations.

Closing remarks, showcase LinkedIn, thank the panelists, viewers & organizer Juergen.
Mentioning Malaysian chapter based in Penang and screening a short [below 2min] Penang destination video, before passing back to Juergen.
Rudolf Herrmann
WTN Chapter [Malaysia]

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