PETALING JAYA, March 31 – Airline and hotel staff are among the happiest in view of the re-opening of the country’s borders effective Friday, April 1 following a two-year restriction on travel overseas that left many staff from the airline and hotel industry without jobs or huge cuts in their pay and working hours.
For two pilots, who would once again start flying as their airline company has recalled them for duty, it is good news and something they are grateful for, having had to rely on small businesses to tide over the past year as their flying duties were reduced.
The pilots, who spoke to Weekly Echo on the condition of anonymity, said they were just happy that things are returning to normal and they can fly once again.
“It had been a bit hard, but I took on a dry goods delivery business and that helped in the past year,” one of the pilots said.
Meanwhile, for Vishu, 28, who was a chef with a leading hotel, the re-opening of the borders is something to be cheerful about.
He said that while he had continued to work for the hotel, he and his friends had to take many unpaid off days and their income was affected.
“I was grateful nevertheless because my boss was good and we continued to work in the hotel. The hotel really tried to accommodate its staff and keep them employed. However, business was really down and most of us started to doing other part time work.
“I eventually started a food delivery business,” he said.
He, nevertheless said his friends working in the hotel were very happy and looking forward to better times with the re-opening of the country’s borders.
Tourism is expected to pick up following the re-opening of the borders on Friday.
In anticipation of tourist arrivals, various preparations have been also undertaken by many organisations to welcome guests into their hotels, or cities.
For the D.I.Y. Group (M) Bhd tourism and ensuring proper environmental care for tourist destinations in the country will remain a priority.
In a recent statement, the company said it recently launched a new initiative under its community outreach programme, called #DIY4Sungai.
This initiative is designed to ensure that tourist areas adjacent to rivers and waterways are cleaned up, rehabilitated, and restored, ready to welcome tourists again.
The homegrown retailer’s focus this time was the Sungai Melaka tourism hub, located in the heart of the historical city of Melaka.
During a clean-up activity, involving 40 volunteers, the MR D.I.Y team led an effort to clean up and restore the natural beauty of the riverfront area.
It said volunteers included the company’s own team members as well as personnel from the Perbadanan Pembangunan Sungai & Pantai Melaka. Over 1,000 kgs of garbage were picked up and disposed of responsibly.
MR D.I.Y Group Chairman, Dato Azlam Shah said the initiative was intended to help preserve, protect and restore Malaysia’s scenic tourism spots.
“Tourism is a key industry for the country, and as Malaysians start traveling again and borders start to reopen, we want to support the efforts to get our tourist industry back on its feet. This is one of the many ways we bring value to Malaysia and Malaysians.”
Apart from the Melaka River, the group had also cooperated with Majlis Perbandaran Hulu Selangor (MPHS), to clean up Sg. Kedondong and carried out maintenance work on the facilities at the recreational area.