The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) urges the Cabinet to impose a lockdown to win the fight against Covid-19.
In a statement by Datuk Tan Kok Liang, President of MATTA, the government should have a lockdown instead of continuing with protracted battles on a piecemeal basis with no end in sight.
“The global outbreak of the Covid-19 has reached a scale where nations have to take bold and drastic measures. Many European nations have already done and more countries are expected to follow suit,” Tan said.
According to Tan, the initial response is no longer successful with the number of positive cases standing at 428. More effective measures need to be adopted to contain the spread of the virus.
Tan said that the lockdown should provide sufficient notice and be clearly defined and not perceived as a 24-hour curfew which will cause panic buying and hoarding. Mechanisms must be in place to prevent or reduce unnecessary hardships to the people as well as remaining tourists still holidaying in Malaysia.
He, however, also said that there is “little left to salvage” for the tourism industry.
“It will be better to reset everything and start all over again on a clean slate by emphasising on hygiene, safety and security as top priorities to restore the confidence for holiday makers.”
“When our country is ready, we will be recognised as one of the safest destinations to visit and we too will be welcomed in many countries when the situation normalises.
“For countries that are proactive in dealing with this crisis, tourism will rebound quickly, while others that take piecemeal actions will find it difficult to rebound,” Tan added.
MATTA will defer all fairs scheduled in Kuala Lumpur and other states throughout the country until the situation returns to normalcy.
Tan also reminded the public to abide by the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health such as adopting social distancing.
“Instead of endless running battles, it would be better to take the bull by the horns. It is the opportune time for the new government to rally the people together to fight the war against this pandemic.
“To rejuvenate our economy, we may have to start with a temporary lockdown,” Tan concluded.
The recently held Malaysia Travel Fair at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre has nothing to do with MATTA or MATTA Fairs, it is entirely organised by a different association registered as Persatuan Agensi Pelancongan Malaysia (MATA).