GEORGE TOWN, 21 May 2020:
The Penang government has proposed to implement a ‘travel bubble’ approach between states declared as green zones to help the tourism sector recover.
The concept, which has also been proposed in Australia and New Zealand, is designed to ease into resuming travel and restart tourism industries while adapting to the new normal.
In a statement yesterday, Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the concept was one of the measures studied in efforts to plan ahead once the Federal government lifted the ban on interstate travel.
“As Penang is currently practising the Gradual Recovery Strategy, this could be a viable solution to begin with, rather than opening all our borders at once and risking transmission again, which will bring us back to square one and bring to waste the efforts to contain the virus which took us months long.”
He said the gradual and staggered approach would allow safe travel zones between green zones and reopen economies for the tourism sector.
On the other hand, Yeoh said the initial stage of the concept would only be limited to tourist attractions in Penang before expanding into other states.
“We could kick-start the tourism economy gradually, but through constant monitoring of the progress before we proceed, as it is a state priority to ensure that the state remains a green zone before Penang opens its tourism borders to welcome others,” he said, adding that the proposed approach will be raised during the upcoming tourism task force meeting.