KUCHING: Also eagerly awaiting the reopening of Sarawak’s tourism industry is Resident manager of UCSI Hotel Kuching, Assistant Professor Christopher Wan Sageng.
“The reopening of the tourism industry is critical for the business’s long-term viability, as it will have a ripple impact on all business entities, whether indirectly or directly.
“As a result, a holistic approach to the state’s economic growth might be achieved,” he said.
Christopher, who is also the Acting Dean of UCSI University’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, added,” The tourism sectors have been one of the major contributors to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“In 2020 alone, due to all the travel restrictions and tighter standard operating procedures (SOPs), the tourism sectors could only contribute an amount of RM2.88 billion, with a 74.27 percent decline in tourist arrivals.”
However, he stressed the importance of having proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place before the state reopened its tourism industry despite the Covid-19 crisis.
He pointed out that it might be difficult for industry players to keep up with inconsistent SOPs which could impair overall operations.
“It will be great if the authorities can conduct a round table session with all key parties to discuss and review the SOPs prior to the reopening of the industry,” he said.
“Some people might be in favour of such a choice while others might be against it. Regardless of the potential negative implications, such an effort should not be stopped.
“This is because everyone has learned and begun to accept the new normalcy of living with Covid-19 and hopefully, the transmission of the virus will be lowered as a result.
“Now, the community is more knowledgeable and well-educated on how to play their part, all thanks to the most recent SOPs that have been introduced.
“As a result of this, all points of view from the community, industry players and authorities have been considered, allowing for the development of comprehensive SOPs that will benefit all levels of communities,” he added.