Government AffairsA high vaccination rate could place the state ahead of Langkawi's potential September bubble.

Could Sarawak be first on Malaysia's reopening plan?

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From left: Andee Yeo of Sarawak Business Events Association; Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor of Sarawak Tourism Board; Amelia Roziman of BESarawak, Hii Chang Kee and Datuk Karim Rahman Hamzah of Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak; Suriya Charles Buas of Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia; Audry Wan Ullok of Sarawak Tourism Federation; and Gracie Geikie of Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers.
From left: Andee Yeo of Sarawak Business Events Association; Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor of Sarawak Tourism Board; Amelia Roziman of BESarawak, Hii Chang Kee and Datuk Karim Rahman Hamzah of Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak; Suriya Charles Buas of Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia; Audry Wan Ullok of Sarawak Tourism Federation; and Gracie Geikie of Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers. Photo Credit: Business Events Sarawak

More than 2,000 of Sarawak's tourism and business events industry professionals are now fully vaccinated as of 18 July, bringing the state a step closer to its reopening dreams.

“The prospect of reopening Sarawak for tourism and business events is high," says Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri.

She adds that the state is looking to reopen to tourism and business events once herd immunity of 80% is reached.

Sarawak will open based on a four-phase recovery roadmap.

As the holder of Malaysia's highest record of adults jabbed with at least one dose (71.4%) and 31% fully vaccinated, Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC), Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah expects to enter phase three by end August.

"We aim to restart tourism and business events in Sarawak by the fourth quarter this year," said Datuk Hamzah, with a strong focus on adherence to safety protocols.

Said Hii Chang Kee, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak: "The safety of those involved — whether as hosts, suppliers or visitors — remains a top priority in our state.”

Amelia Roziman, CEO of Business Events Sarawak, said: “The business events industry is finally one step closer to restarting again... We are all eager to restart again and can't wait to launch our brand new recovery efforts soon."

Elsewhere in Malaysia, Langkawi's hotel and resort partners are gearing up for a possible September reopening, where local authorities are working on the travel bubble plan.

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