JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 7– The Johor government is hoping to turn three focus areas in the state which have achieved the COVID-19 vaccination rate of more than 80 per cent into destinations under the tourism bubble programme.
State Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said discussions had been held with Tourism Johor for the federal government, through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, to consider the matter.
He said the three focus areas involved the Muar district, Mersing islands and Desaru Coast in Kota Tinggi.
According to him, the Mersing islands, also known as the “Maldives of Malaysia”, has achieved 100 percent vaccination rate, with 594 of its population who are eligible for the vaccination and resort employees, having been vaccinated.
“Muar, which is famous for its beautiful panorama, historic buildings and delicious food, achieved the herd immunity last Sept 4 when 84.24 per cent of its population, or 168,396 residents, having received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Desaru Coast, which has been named one of the Worlds Greatest Places of 2021, has achieved 91 percent vaccination rate, with 1,210 workers having received the second dose,” he said in a post on his Facebook today.
Onn Hafiz said Tourism Johor and all tourism industry players in the state welcomed the tourism bubble initiative announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and hoped that the federal government could consider the three areas in Johor for the tourism bubble programme.
He said the initiative would shed new light on the tourism industry which had been gloomy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ismail Sabri recently announced that Langkawi would open to locals under a travel bubble plan from Sept 16, while other destinations will be allowed to operate when the locality’s vaccination rate hits 80 per cent.