State welcomes initiatives of domestic travel bubble

Abdul Karim (left) together with Jane and Hii (right) during the courtesy visit.

KUCHING: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomes the introduction of the Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiatives by the federal government, aimed to expedite the recovery of Malaysia’s tourism sector.

“We welcome the much needed initiatives which was recently announced by Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri on the latest initiatives to keep our tourism industry afloat and to remain active despite having been badly affected the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Abdul Karim.

The initiatives which began on Nov 22 will boost the government’s strategies under the Tourism Rehabilitation Plan that is aimed to reignite the visitors’ confidence in travel while focusing on reviving domestic tourism, he pointed out.

“The introduction of the approved standard operating procedures (SOPs) for local visitors is also timely because it will enable movements between green zones within the country, and subsequently, (through) our borders. Thus, such measures will contribute meaningfully to our local tourism sector,” he said today.

The Youth and Sports Minister also lauded the federal government’s decision on other initiatives that covers accommodation, transportation and discounts on the purchase of handicraft products at Karyaneka outlets.

“The support given to the local handicrafts industry through Karyaneka will support the livelihood of our local craftsmen and create income generating activities which had been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19,” he added.

Abdul Karim also called on local hoteliers and accommodation providers to support the government’s initiative by offering various attractive room packages that may encourage visitors to grab the discount opportunities that may be used during their next domestic travel.

He explained that local travellers were now looking for discount promotions and the recent ‘Sia Sitok’ tourism campaign had proven to be a hit among Sarawakians.

“We have to concur that all of our tourism industry players must try to offer attractive short or long term holiday packages to our own local folk while maintaining the SOPs under the new norm to ensure highest safety level and also the sustainability of the country’s tourism economy.

“Collectively we should continue working hard in coming up with good travel programmes and initiatives that can help revitalise Sarawak’s domestic tourism sector which over the past decade, it had contributed to the growth of the state’s economy. However, the situation is now dampened by the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the movement restriction that has caused a sharp decline in travel and leisure activities,” he lamented.

“As what the chief minister had previously mentioned in his State’s 2021 budget speech, our tourism sector is one of the badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and it had also impacted on the lives of our local folk who are involved in the industry at all levels,” he said.

Meanwhile today, Abdul Karim together with Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee received a courtesy call from Sarawak Culture Village (SCV) management team led by its general manager Jane Lian Labang.

The visit was to give updates on SCV’s upcoming events and activities especially in the efforts to promote local folk to come and visit the living museum which is still giving attractive discounts to guests.