Malaysia Plans To Reopen Langkawi, Kuching And More Destinations For Leisure Travel


Cheng Sim •  Jul 21, 2021

While the pandemic has halted our plans to travel across Malaysia, there's a possibility that leisure travel might resume sooner than we think. If you're yearning for beach getaways in Langkawi or city break in Kuching, we have some news for you!

P.S. Dreaming of travelling abroad instead? Find out whether Malaysians can travel overseas right now!

Malaysia plans to reopen Langkawi, Kuching and more destinations for leisure travel

Malaysia plans to reopen Langkawi, Kuching and more destinations for leisure travel

On 26 June 2021, Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has announced that they're preparing a holistic framework to revive the tourism industry in Malaysia. As part of the Tourism Recovery Plan, MOTAC has outlined three phases to help the government to accelerate the vaccination program nationwide and subsequently, launching the COVID-19 Free Destination Program.

Malaysia plans to reopen Langkawi, Kuching and more destinations for leisure travel
Credit: Sajith T S on Flickr

First phase

  • Langkawi will be the pilot destination for COVID-19 Free Destination Program
  • To ensure that Langkawi is safe for travellers, the government will increase the vaccination rate among Langkawi residents.
  • Langkawi Craft Complex will also be used as an additional public vaccination centre from mid-July 2021
  • Kuching is also considered as one of the pilot destinations for COVID-19 Free Destination Program due to the influx of local and international visitors pre-pandemic.
  • MOTAC is collaborating with Sarawak state government to elevate Kuching as part of the creative cities network at the UNESCO and ASEAN stages.

Second phase

  • MOTAC has held an Assistance Coordination Meeting to expand the program to famous resort islands in Malaysia including Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Tioman, and other islands.
  • However, the capacity of vaccination has to be increased before these islands reopen for leisure travel

Third phase

  • MOTAC will engage with all state governments in Malaysia to determine which major tourist attractions they should focus on.
  • Just like the other phases, the state governments also need to identify the facilities that can be used as public vaccination centres to increase vaccination capacity before reopening.

As of July 2021, the timeline for these phases has yet to be determined. According to the National Recovery Plan, the government aims to achieve herd immunity by September or October 2021, so we might be able to see the reopening happening in Q4 2021.

It may be awhile before we can travel in Malaysia again, but let's remain hopeful that we'll be able to visit Langkawi, Kuching, and other stunning islands in Malaysia soon. To inspire your future getaways in Malaysia, check out our recommended reads below!