The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) is ready for the international borders to open, said Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture to the reporters after the launch of Jom Balik Kampung Homestay Malaysia organised by Tourism Malaysia in Johor Bahru on the 7th of March.
When asked if the causeway of Johor Bahru and Singapore would open too, she said it will
be included as it will open simultaneously and would be announced by the Malaysian Prime Minister himself.
On Saturday, the 5th of March, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob stated that the country’s borders will be reopened soon, allowing families who had not seen each other in a long time to reunite, particularly for the Hari Raya, which would be celebrated in May.
The land vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) via the Johor Causeway and the Second Link opened concurrently with the air VTL between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on the 29th of November 2021, and was put on halt on the 23rd of December and resumed again on 21st January 2022.
Land travel between Singapore and Johor Bahru is for long-term pass holders working in Singapore and Johor Bahru.
Speaking of the campaign launch, Nancy said it is in line with the launch of the jomhomestay.com portal, which was completed on the 27th of November last year and was aimed at promoting homestays in the country as an alternative to staying at hotels for travellers.
MOTAC has also extended financial assistance to a total of 40 recipients, as representatives of the Johor Tourism Industry. RM9,000.00 will be given to Licensed Tour Operators and Travel Agencies (TOBTAB) and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Companies, while Spa and Foot Massage Centers (PUK) will receive RM3,000.00.
For Tourist Guides, they will receive RM1,500.00 and Inapdesa (homestay) operators RM1,800.00. These payments will be implemented twice starting March and May 2022.
“In order to assist the tourism sector, which was one of the most affected segments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has provided financial assistance to Licensed Tour Operators and Travel Agencies (TOBTAB), MM2H Companies, Tour Guides, Spas and Foot Massage Centers (PUK), and homestays licenced and registered under MOTAC as a driver or kick start to redevelop the country’s tourism sector through the 2022 Budget,” she said prior to the launch of the campaign.
From 18th to 25th December 2021, Tourism Malaysia extensively marketed the Jom Balik Kampung Homestay Johor 1.0 Campaign by promoting 7 homestays across various mass media and social media channels. The latest campaign will be on an ongoing basis.
The programme also aims to encourage homestay operators, including youths, to create appealing packages and highlight local items in order to make their accommodation more enticing.