A lot has happened in Asia in the past few months. Since COVID-19 came, country leaders in our six program destinations – Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, Vietnam, the UAE, and Indonesia – have been working hard to ensure not only the safety of their people but also the security of their economies.
It has been more than half of a year that our Global Community, especially the Hospitality and Travel Industry, is experiencing significant social and economic changes. Nevertheless, we still never run out of positive news to share with the World.
Here are some important updates relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic in our program destination:
MALAYSIA HEIGHTENS PROTOCOLS, PREPARES FOR POST-PANDEMIC
• Malaysia announced that the country’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), which maintains strict travel restrictions, will remain in place until Dec 31, 2020.
• Malaysia and Singapore are currently finding effective ways to quickly open up borders for each other.
• The East Coast Economic Region Development Council has proposed the development of Terengganu islands as domestic tourism to the islands is expected to increase post-COVID-19, this is also expected to curb the threat to marine biodiversity.
PRIVATE SECTOR IN THAILAND CONTINUES TO STRIVE AND GET INVOLVED
• Thai Airways International (THAI) tickets will remain valid until the end of next year or can be converted to travel vouchers valid until the end of 2022.
• The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has continued its global expansion plans despite COVID-19. This includes openings in Khao Yai, Chiang Mai, and Yao Yai in 2021.
• Thai Hotels Association urged the government to include expatriates in the second phase of tourism stimulus, a program aimed at boosting domestic travel during the pandemic.
TOURISM CONTINUES IN THE MALDIVES WITH NEW SAFETY MEASURES
• From September 10 onwards, tourists visiting the island nation will need to be tested for COVID-19 (PCR) and receive a negative certification 72 hours ahead of their arrival.
• The Tourism Ministry recently launched a webinar series as part of the government’s crisis recovery action plan. The action plan aims to reconnect the Maldives with
VIETNAM CONTINUES PRECAUTIONS, RESUMES DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
• To keep the situation under control, the reopening of Vietnam’s borders is suspended until further notice.
• Foreigners entering the country are responsible to pay for the mandatory quarantine. • The goverment has renewed the visas for everyone stuck in the country until September 30th.
• Vietnam Airlines resumed local flights to and from Da Nang on September 7.
UAE COVID-19 FRONTLINERS GET SPECIAL TREATS
• Around 80,000 frontline heroes in the UAE are expected to receive special benefits from the government and private sectors including mental health and educational support.
• Dubai, UAE officially reopened its borders for international tourists on July 7.
• Visitors and residents entering Abu Dhabi and staying in the capital for six consecutive days or more will have to take a PCR test on the sixth day of their stay, besides providing a negative PCR or DPI test result at the entry point.
INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT STEPS US AGAINST COVID-19
• The government of Indonesia has allocated $2.8 billion for the development, production, and procurement of a vaccine against COVID-19.
• Plans to reopen Bali to international tourism this month have been reconsidered following the government’s decision to wait until the end of this year before welcoming foreign tourists.
We at RMC will continue monitoring the situation in the countries we arrange Hospitality Internships and Management Training Programs in. Together with the Hospitality and Travel sector, we remain optimistic about the gradual reopening of business and tourism activities towards 2021.