KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) urged the federal government for a nationwide lockdown, waging an all out war against COVID-19, as a necessary act of rejuvenating the economy.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang (pic) said instead of "continuing with protracted battles on a piecemeal basis with no end in sight" Malaysia should follow in the drastic footsteps of European nations of taking the bull by the horns.
He said sufficient notice should be provided prior to the lockdown to avoid a misconstrued public perception of a 24-hour curfew resulting in panic buying and hoarding.
Without further divulgence, Tan said mechanisms must be placed to prevent or reduce unnecessary hardships to the people as well as remaining tourists still holidaying here.
"As for the tourism industry, there is little left to salvage. It would be better to press the reset button and start all over again on a clean slate by placing hygiene, safety and security as to f priorities restoring confidence for holiday makers."
"When our country is all set, Malaysia will be recognised as one of the safest destinations to visit and us too would be welcomed in many countries when the situation normalises," he said in a statement.
Tan believes the tourism industry is capable of rebounding as fast as the dive it took through proactive counter measures while difficulty will be faced through piecemeal actions.
MATTA fairs across the country, including Cuti Cuti Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur fairs organised by Persatuan Agensi Pelancongan Malaysia (MATA) supposed to be held in April and May, have been postponed until further notice as a precaution.