OTDYKH Leisure Team Launches New Interview Series

OTDYKH Leisure team launches new interview series with heads of international tourism boards on their experience, forecasts, recent updates and tips during forced isolation.

As part of the OTDYKH new interview series, Mr. Jeffri Munir, Tourism Attache and Director of the Malaysia National Tourism Office in Moscow, talk about a new post-COVID-19 reality.

Despite an outbreak of coronavirus, the Malaysia National Tourism Office in Moscow continues to actively communicate with colleagues and partners through online sources. Mr. Munir noted “we do a lot of virtual contacts such as video conferences, webinars, discussions and meetings”. With respect to the question of tourism recovery, Mr. Munir stated that Malaysia is considering the ‘travel bubbles’ concept to restart tourism. Read the full interview below.

In what format do you and your colleagues continue to work?

As the others, we are currently working from home and all communication with colleagues and partners being done online. We also do a lot of virtual contacts such as video conferences, webinars, discussions and meetings on the new norm opportunities to promote and market the destinations – Malaysia.

It’s important now not to cut off communication with partners and clients. How do you continue promoting your destination in a situation where borders are closed and work is remote? Could you share some advice?

Absolutely, with new norm working environment due the global pandemic outbreak, we cannot deny that keeping in-touch and maintain steady and good contact and communication with all partners and clients are very crucial and most important in order to equip everyone with ‘feeling good factors’, confident and safety information to coming back to Malaysia once borders are open. The Government of Malaysia via the Ministry of Health Malaysia has been very transparent in daily reporting on the situation and sharing various measures introduced and implemented to contain and stop the Covid19 chain in Malaysia from all angles. Timely, various SOPs from various sectors has been introduced and gazetted as an effort to raise the hygiene standards and transform cleanliness level of the people as well as to the tourism and public attractions and spaces, to increase the trustworthy and assurance to everyone about traveling and holidaying in Malaysia.

To ensure the good momentum of communication in the industry, the Malaysia National Tourism Office in Moscow have planned series of webinars and virtual discussions involving our Malaysia’s tourism players to provide them with the latest trend, business atmosphere and opportunity to engage with the Russian tourism players, especially when all the normal physical and face-to-face business roadshows and meetings have been stopped temporary.

Forecasts are now made very carefully, but still… According to your assessment, when do you expect tourist flow recovery, including from Russia?

While Malaysia is still closing to its international travellers, the domestic tourism is opened since June 10, 2020 to allow safe travel within the country.

We believe, the Government of Malaysia is looking for the right time to gradually re-opening Malaysia’s borders to allow safe travel for foreigners entering the country. As the global situation remain unpredictable, all action leading to open the borders need to be done with the necessary precautions and safeguards.

For a start, Malaysia under the spirit of ASEAN is considering on the ‘travel bubbles’ approach with its neighbours to safely kickstart regional tourism and resume travel ahead of a vaccine. Mooted by what has been introduced by the China and South Korea, the strategies are to develop standardised measures on health insurance and the assurance of the business travellers are negative tested for Covid19 prior to departure and upon arrival.

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By doing this, Malaysia will be allowing tourists from countries assessed to be at equivalent or lower risk of community transmissions as Malaysia, for which essential travel in limited numbers and with safeguards, could be conducted safely.

At this juncture, Malaysia tourism is aiming for its domestic tourism recovery until the international borders open, which is planned at the end of August 2020. However, this is subject to the agreement between countries where the flights are flying from to Kuala Lumpur. As for Russia, due to no direct flights connecting Moscow – Kuala Lumpur, it is likely very much depending on any international flights making Kuala Lumpur as the final destinations.

If you wish to view other interviews from OTDYKH new interview series, please visit the exhibition website to get first-hand information on the latest tourism developments in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Slovak Republic, Israel, Sri Lanka, Sharjah , the Czech Republic as well as Singapore.

Exhibition website: https://www.tourismexpo.ru/leisure/en/news/

The next OTDYKH Leisure Fair will take place on September 8-10, 2020, at the Expocentre in Moscow, Russia.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Anna Huber, Project Manager, Travel Exhibitions Division, Euroexpo Exhibitions & Congress Development GmbH, Tel.: + 43 1 230 85 35 – 36, Fax: + 43 1 230 85 35 – 50/51, [email protected] , http://www.euro-expo.org/

About the author

Linda Hohnholz