KUCHING: Sarawak tourism players who are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic received monetary grants from the Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) here.
It was the second of such incentive given to tourism players following a similar one held in Langkawi on Oct 10.
The incentives will be given out in stages to key tourism players.
A total of 10 tour guides, 10 tourism operators, four individuals associated with the Malaysia My Second Home programme and four homestay operators registered with Motac received financial aid worth between RM500 and RM3,000.
Overall, Motac has distributed RM61 million in assistance and incentives, including those under the 2021 Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy (Pemerkasa), 2021 Pemerkasa+, the 2021 National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) 2021 and the 2021 Prihatin Special Grant.
Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said in her opening speech that the initiative from her ministry was aimed at alleviating the burden tourism industry players to reboot or to reset their businesses after being in such dire and challenging circumstances because of the pandemic.
“The grants also signify the government’s continuous commitment to help boost the tourism sector so that the key players are able to sustain or to reset their businesses during this most difficult situation,” she said on Monday (Oct 18).
For the record, five tourism segments under the jurisdiction of Motac received the monetary and non-monetary aids.
They are tourist guides, tourism agencies, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H), Spa and Feet Massage centres and Motac-registered Malaysian Homestay Experience programme.
Nancy said the government had also agreed to expand the Pemulih monetary aid to licensed Motac MM2H companies.
“These monetary aids are the second one given to these companies whereby my ministry through the Pemerkasa initiatives has given a sum of RM3,000 to each eligible MM2H companies.
“Motac is confident that the announcement of reopening and allowing inter-district travel by the government on Oct 11 can also greatly help the tourism, arts and handicraft sector to assist in rebuilding the strength of the country’s economy,” she added.
Meanwhile, Nancy advised Malaysian families with plans to travel to undergo Covid-19 tests before proceeding with their holiday plan.