Tourism workers should consider looking for employment in other industries, said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang.
Tan was commenting on the lack of assistance given to the travel sector, which has been devastated by Covid-19, in Budget 2021.
"We would urge affected employees to look for employment in other industries under employment and re-skilling initiatives as proposed in budget,” he told The Star.
Tan said Budget 2021 failed to provide solid initiatives to protect jobs and tourism businesses.
"The Budget has failed to meet the needs of tourism enterprises particularly SMEs and does not address the key issue of protecting jobs.
"The wage subsidy programmes should have been enhanced to avoid continuing lay-offs and the loan moratorium should be extended up to June 2021 for tourism businesses,” he said.
Tan added that the Budget does not include any incentives to boost domestic tourism and is inadequate to empower the tourism industry during these challenging pandemic times.
"The future outlook for the next 12 months is bleak and without the right support, we will inevitably see the industry contracting quickly and drastically.
"The Budget has not managed to address the industry's fundamental needs and we urge the government to reassess the support for the tourism industry in order to harness the potential of the industry to generate jobs and growth and continue to contribute to the economy,” he said.