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Malaysia reports record tourism decline since pandemic started

Malaysia reports record tourism decline since pandemic started

dpa
Bangkok
Tourism arrivals to Malaysia fell by a record of over 83 percent last year, according to official data released on Thursday.
The Statistics Department said 4.3 million people visited the country in 2020, almost all of them landing in the first three months of the year, before the government announced a lockdown and border closure as the pandemic spread.
Tourism industry representatives this week warned the government that the once-booming sector faces “total” collapse due to restrictions.
Malaysia welcomed over 26 million tourists in 2019, official data show.
Malaysia has kept its border shut since March 2020 and has maintained strict domestic pandemic rules.
Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said on Wednesday that 56 politicians had been arrested since Malaysia first began imposing restrictions, with 22 fines issued and 25 cases still being investigated.
While some measures are set to be relaxed, such as a ban on travel between Malaysia’s 13 regions once 90 percent of adults are vaccinated, new restrictions are being imposed.
Prospective brides and grooms face the prospect of being left at the altar in Penang, a north-west region of peninsular Malaysia, after a requirement that both must test negative for the coronavirus before a wedding can proceed was announced on Thursday.
The Health Ministry reported almost 14,000 new virus cases on Thursday, a slight drop on recent days.
However the 487 virus-related fatalities announced for Wednesday was the second highest in a day.
Over 80 percent of adults have been vaccinated, the government said this week.

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