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Langkawi reopening for International Travelers

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  • Langkawi reopening for International Travelers

    Malaysia - Langkawi will reopen for fully vaccinated travelers

    Malaysia’s first international tourism bubble begins today as the country plans to reopen its borders next year in a bid to revive its tourism industry. Travellers from overseas who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are now able to travel to the island of Langkawi without undergoing quarantine.

    Langkawi, the tourist hotspot in northwestern Malaysia, was the first holiday spot to reopen to domestic tourists on September 16 without quarantine after two years under tight restrictions. Now, the Southeast Asian country is looking forward to welcoming more international travelers who are “fully vaccinated”, despite concerns that Covid-19 cases may rise again because of a recent spike in the infectivity rate despite the country’s high vaccination rate.

    Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, a member of the Kedah state executive council, said the territory has finished preparing for the travel bubble with local authorities and agencies, such as the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), as well as key stakeholders from the tourism industry.

    “Upon arrival on the island, all foreign visitors must undergo Covid-19 screening, with results available in 10 minutes.”
    Foreign tourists visiting Langkawi will be required to use the services of tour operators registered with Malaysian tourism authorities and must have medical insurance of at least US$80,000 and stay in Langkawi for more than three days.

    All passengers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by properly vaccinated parents or guardians, and all passengers must download and register the MySejahtera contact tracing app before departure.

  • #2
    Thai Commerce Minister welcomes reopening of 2 Southern Border Checkpoints

    Thailand’s Commerce Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit, has welcomed the re-opening of 2 border checkpoints in the southern province of Narathiwat, saying it will boost trade with Malaysia. Both the Tak Bai and Buketa checkpoints re-opened yesterday, with Jurin predicting an increase of at least 600 million baht a year in bilateral trade between Thailand and Malaysia.

    The Bangkok Post reports that Jurin plans to accelerate talks aimed at re-opening border checkpoints between Thailand and Cambodia too. The minister says re-opening the Tha Sen and Ban Nong Ian checkpoints, in the eastern provinces of Trat and Sa Kaeo respectively, would boost bilateral trade with Cambodia.

    With the opening of the southern checkpoints at Tak Bai and Buketa yesterday, Thailand has now re-opened 48 border checkpoints. However, 49 remain closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bangkok Post reports that cross-border trade has generated 1.2 trillion baht in the period from January to September this year, a 31.6% increase on the same period in 2020. This figure includes transit trade, which involves goods being routed through more than 1 country.

    From that total, exports accounted for 778.3 Billion THB a 38% increase, while imports made up 497.1 billion baht, an increase of nearly 23%. According to the Bangkok Post report, 2020 cross-border trade, including transit trade, fell to 1.31 Trillion THB, a 1.7% drop on 2019 figures. However, Jurin has seen a light at the end of the tunnel in 2021.

    “Cross-border trade was very active this year, as in the first 9 months we already achieved 778.3 billion baht. For the remaining 3 months of the year, the ministry remains bullish about cross-border trade performance and believes the whole-year growth figures will outpace 3% in the previous projection.”
    The commerce minister has previously predicted an increase of 4 – 5% in cross-border trade, including transit trade, this year. The value of such trade is now estimated to be between 796.8 Billion and 804.5 Billion THB, an increase on an earlier prediction of 789.1 Billion THB.