KUCHING: A number of key tourism highlights for the year have been put forth by the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak (MTCP).
Also featured was the Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H) online application.
“We want to create a convenient method for our people to apply for their home. Many have complained they have to fly to Kuching to submit their applications.
“Now they can submit via online, namely a submission through the system,” said permanent secretary of MTCP Hii Chang Kee in his briefing at the MTCP mandate ceremony officiated at by its Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at Waterfront Hotel here on Saturday (Jan 22).
Aside from this, Hii said the other highlights were the relaunch of Regional Tourism Satellite Account Sarawak 2022 and also the introduction of Vaccination Travel Lane (VTL).
“Sarawak was the first state to have regional tourism satellite account and we will launch it again this year,” he said.
“As for the VTL, we will be working closely with Ministry of Transport (MOT) to see when the flights between Kuching and Singapore will restart. Then we will begin the VTL,” he added.
He said yet another tourism highlight for the year would be Research Grant for New Tourism Products and Packaging.
“The research grant will be allocated to product-led research only. We have turned down several purely academic researches last year.
Adding on, Hii added ecotourism and community-based tourism as part of the highlights for the year.
“We are going to register unlisted homestays so that they enjoy the benefit of registered development including capacity-building,” he said in introducing Homestay Registration Development.
He said the ministry also aims to execute homestay household income survey, third party administrator (TPA) management plans, ecotourism product audit, and Sarawak Delta Geopark (SDGp).
On another matter, he said the MTCP would now include a new section to be spearheaded by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) lecturer Dr Elena Chai. The new section would be known as Arts, Culture and Heritage section.
At the same time, he spoke of the approved 2022 budget for MTCP, which totalled RM217 million.
Of this total, Hii said RM96 million was approved for the use of operations, RM94 million is allocated for the use of projects, while RM27 million is for the use of heritage, culture and nature projects.