Since the pandemic took over the world by surprised, many travel agencies have wind down, many tourist guides have changed their course of lives, many tourism operators have closed, sold or reduced in size and many tourism related employees have lost their jobs.
So what are the lessons learnt? And where are we heading from this point?
While most of the world borders are still closed, local tourism operators such as hotels and resorts depend solely on the local markets to support their businesses.. and with the lockdowns imposed by the government.. certainly it doesn’t help to improve the economic situation of most players. To-date, the greatest aides have been the moratorium set by the banks and financial aides by the government. However they could only provide a temporary solutions to the ongoing world crisis. Sooner or later, organizations will have to resume paying the financial institutions, people will have to resume paying the financial debts while striving for survival at the same time.
Which way is our direction now?
In our opinion, tourism players must not keep awaiting for instructions.. as instructions have proved negative impacts.. sadly in numbers of situations already. Previously, a term travel bubble have been introduced to the nation, which excited many tourism organizations, the people and tourism players. However it also brought tremendous confusion as to how it can be carried out.
The current strength is that, if our organizations are 100% vaccinated, we could be in a better situation to receive customers. And we could set our internal rules that visitors to our premises need to be twice vaccinated before they could be accepted to enter. To strengthen this rule, the date of each customers second vaccination need to be at least 4 weeks prior their arrival, to ensure efficiency of the vaccination, as vaccination caused lower antibody in the first 3-4 weeks of vaccination.
Waiting for instruction is a slow death as many instructions may not favor our improvements, however providing suggestions may be the beginning of a new life. Tourism players need to get together to set rules, offers, new SOPs and forward these suggestions to the authorities instead of playing blaming games.
If the proposals of the tourism players are acceptable, soon the transport organizations have to follow suit. Most important of all are the people.. as long as the vaccination rate stays at a very low paste, as long as people still refuse to receive vaccination.. we will not get anywhere.
We can see now that the greatest economic contributors, which is the production entities are heading towards full vaccination of their employees to meet their needs, so can the the tourism sectors.
Langkawi in general, may have reached its herd immunity of 80%, however this may not be the strength needed by the tourism players, it has to be 100% vaccination for their employees to convince the public.
Tourism organizations of Langkawi need to stand up and initiate this move.. provide the strength and new hope for all.. otherwise by inaction, we are helping the closure of Langkawi’s tourism players one by one.