Task force to help tourism sector

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2020

Chow is chairman of the Tourism Penang Next Normal Task Force.

PENANG will form the ‘Tourism Penang Next Normal Task Force’, primarily to collect the opinions of stakeholders in the tourism sector to formulate strategies to ensure the viability of the sector.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is the task force chairman, said state tourism, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin is the deputy chairman of the task force with the secretariat at Penang Global Tourism.

“Due to the importance of this sector, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses related to this sector, this task force was formed, ” he said in his Covid-19 online Facebook message yesterday.

Chow said the service sector is the largest contributor to the state’s gross domestic product, accounting for 49%, followed by the manufacturing sector at 46%, where part of the expenditure comes from the tourism industry.

“This includes spending on our world-famous and popular street food, recreation, art and culture, medical tourism, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition (MICE), hotels, homestays and others.

“The Tourism Penang Next Normal Taskforce will be having a virtual roundtable session on Saturday with industry stakeholders for an early discussion on the sectorial impact that they will face.

“Based on the crisis evaluation report of the state think-tank Penang Institute, it was reported that 74.9% of the small-and- medium-scale enterprises in the sub-sector of arts, entertainment and recreation are micro enterprises and the economic risks affecting this group is extremely high, ” he said.

Chow said the state government did not only take a serious view of the socio-economic effects of Covid-19, but would also take early action to ensure the survival of the people and state as a whole.

He also said the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), which was into its 36th day had recorded a 97.92% compliance rate while those flouting the MCO was 566.

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