Tourism Ministry expects Budget 2021 to revive tourism in Malaysia

The Bukit Bintang area in KL, which is usually bustling with tourists, is empty during the conditional MCO. -LOW BOON TAT/The Star.

Budget 2021, which will be tabled on Nov 6, is expected to revive local tourism, arts and culture sector which has been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the Budget 2021 will enable the ministry to assist industry players, while supporting economic recovery.

“The ministry is confident the tourism, arts and culture sector is ready to be a key driving force to overall economic development.

"This is a huge economic chain, across various economic segments involving aspects of accommodation, land, sea and air transport, food and beverage, travel agencies, cultural art heritage assets as well as event management, ” she said in a statement.

Nancy said the ministry will intensify the use of technology and innovation to boost the tourism, arts and culture industries.

She explained this can be done by developing a public data centre to assist in marketing and promotional efforts.

The ministry will also prioritise tourism infrastructure facilities, outreach, upskilling and reskilling programmes.

Tourism players have called on the government to provide relief ahead of Budget 2021.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang urged for a more effective wage subsidy programme and moratorium extension.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) proposed a two-tiered wage subsidy system.

The tiered system specifically calls on the government to provide a 50% subsidy for employees earning up to RM4,000 and 30% for those between RM4,001 and RM8,000.​​​​The Star earlier reported that hotels registered booking cancellations throughout the country following news of the conditional movement control order (MCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Sabah.

"This would cost the industry between RM60mil and RM100mil in revenue at minimum and if the situation doesn’t improve, we will be forced (to go) back to the early days of the pandemic," said MAH chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng.

"We earlier anticipated the beginning of tourism recovery in mid 2021, but looking at the situation now, it will likely be end of 2021, ” he said.

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Budget 2021 , MATTA , MAH , budget , Covid-19


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