KUCHING: The federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) plans to organise tourism stimulus packages with hotel industry players to encourage people to travel.
“Motac will bear some of the costs,” Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri told reporters during a casual dinner with the media at Rock Road Seafood, Rock Road here on Saturday night (Aug 22).
She explained that for a three-day stay, for example, the first day might require full payment while discounts should be given on the second and third days.
“For the first day, hotel customers will have to pay in full while on the second day, they are only required to pay 70 percent of the price. They pay only 50 percent of the price on the third day. The remaining costs will be borne by us.
“With that, we will be able to increase the people’s interest in travelling.
“But this matter is still being discussed. We have not conducted any studies yet. We are currently getting feedback from the industry players,” said Nancy.
The minister added that the domestic tourism sector had recorded an encouraging response so far. However, this only applied to hotels and resorts near places of attraction.
But hotels in the cities and budget hotel operators were having a hard time increasing the number of stays, said Nancy.
“Thus, I urge the hotel operators to come up with creative ways to attract more tourists and increase the number of stays at their premises,” she said.
Nancy added that Motac was also promoting MICE —meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions — to encourage hotels to organise such programmes, apart from collecting feedback from the hotel industry players on the way forward.
The minister said that her ministry was closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in other countries to prepare for the eventual entry of foreign tourists to Malaysia.
“We have identified several countries such as Singapore; we may allow entry of each other’s citizens but only for essential services.
“When the pandemic situation has subsided (in both countries) in terms of decreasing number of positive cases, maybe we will allow that.
“However, there is no confirmation on that matter yet as both parties are working on it and we have to be cautious in opening up our respective borders,” she said.
Nancy, who is also the Batang Sadong MP, was in Sarawak to attend several functions in Sadong Jaya and Simunjan on Saturday (Aug 22).
During her visit, she also took the opportunity to monitor the conditions in several places which required immediate assistance in order to develop Batang Sadong parliamentary constituency.