Tourism industry loses RM45 billion

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KUCHING: The country’s tourism and cultural industries suffered losses amounting to some RM45 billion from January to June this year.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the losses were due largely to the restrictions imposed under the movement control order implemented during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Nancy disclosed this at a press conference after an engagement session between her ministry and Sarawak’s tourism industry players at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here on Saturday.

Touching on tourism projects in Sarawak, Nancy said she had received a long list with more expected as some elected representatives were still getting back to her.

“These will be considered under the 12th Malaysia Plan,” she said, adding that some small projects would be managed by the state since it was receiving 50 percent of tourism tax revenue from the federal government to improve or upgrade such projects.

Nancy (centre) with Abdul Karim (second left) and other dignitaries in a group photograph with participants of the engagement session with tourism industry players.

Meanwhile, she said that many of the initiatives introduced by the federal government under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), Prihatin, and Prihatin Plus to help the tourism sector were products of engagements between Motac and industry players.

“These initiatives which include wage subsidies, loans, and grants are to help companies retain their employees,” she said.

On the engagement session, she said they discussed initiatives offered by the federal government via Motac to assist those affected during this difficult time.

“We will enhance the quality of tourism products and services by adopting the new normal to boost the confidence of tourists to travel again, hence encouraging them to stay longer, visit more places, and spend more.

“On this point, I would like to urge the state and industry players from both tourism and cultural sectors to ensure the services and products provided are of the highest quality especially on health safety, cleanliness, and hygiene,” Nancy said.

She disclosed that a matching grant known as Galakan Melancong Malaysia (Gamelan) would be extended primarily for domestic promotion and marketing activities.

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