MELAKA: A tourism body in Melaka has raised concerns over the survival of its 97 members and is appealing for a lifeline through a relaxation of the terms of the conditional movement control order (MCO).
Melaka Tourism Association (MTA) acting president Sazali Sabri said many of the association’s members were finding it hard to cope with zero income since the MCO was enforced on March 18.
“We are asking the state government to come up with a comprehensive plan during the conditional MCO period to help some of the outlets reopen.
“It’s a matter of survival for us, especially restaurants, ” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Sazali said another set of guidelines to support the state’s food and leisure industries should be introduced during the conditional MCO.
“There must be some relaxation for dine-in and reopening of certain tourism-related activities in the state, ” he said.
Sazali said the local tourism industry had to depend on domestic travellers as global travel was limited due to the Covid-19 outbreak and would take some time before things returned to normal.
He said interstate travel should be considered to promote local dishes and delicacies.
Sazali said the state government should also consider the burden shouldered by tourism players in maintaining employees’ salaries and other ancillary expenses.
He said the tourism sector in the state had been sent into a tailspin, with members having to incur daily losses due to the pandemic.
He added that relaxing the rules on conditional MCO would offset the possible adverse impact on the industry.
Sazali suggested that the state form a tourism crisis management committee to ensure players adhere to all safety procedures set by the Health Ministry.
“In a nutshell, the tourism industry should be given a chance to operate during conditional MCO, ” he added.
Melaka has only granted factories to operate during the conditional MCO and restaurants, including eateries in hotels, are still not allowed to have dine-in patrons.
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