Tourist guides hope Budget 2022 supports tourism recovery in Malaysia

Many tourist guides have been left jobless amid the Covid-19 pandemic. - Filepic

The upcoming Budget 2022 should support tourism recovery and provide the necessary assistance to tourist guides that have been affected by the pandemic, says the Malaysian Tourist Guides Council (MTGC).

MTGC president Jimmy Leong said many tourist guides in the country have been left jobless as tourism activities were halted for many months.

"MTGC has proposed to the government to continue providing financial assistance to the many jobless tourist guides for another year," he said.

Earlier this year, the Permai assistance package provided a one-off assistance of RM500 to over 14,000 tourist guides in the country.

Leong also hopes that the government will extend the license fee exemption of tourist guides for another year.

He added that the impact of the pandemic upon the guides "have not been reversed".

Leong hopes that as a whole, the upcoming Budget 2022 – which will be tabled on Friday (Oct 29) – will be geared towards the recovery of the tourism industry.

He added that allocation towards tourism will help the sector bounce back stronger and capture the post-pandemic travel demand in the region.

According to Leong, the tourism market in the region will be competitive as many countries are lifting their border restrictions

"To ensure success in our recovery, the next Budget would have to be in line with the recovery of the (tourism) industry," he said.

Leong also proposed that the country focus its tourism marketing efforts towards Asean countries first in the near future once Malaysia fully reopen to international tourists.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri recently announced that the country hopes to welcome international tourists as early as December this year.

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