PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will attempt to revive its tourism industry by focusing on domestic tourism as well as marketing the country as a safe holiday destination, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said the scrapping of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign would not hamper the ministry’s efforts to promote the country as a viable place to visit post-Covid-19.
“Even though the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign has been cancelled, efforts to promote the country as a safe destination for tourists will continue.
“For starters, we want this to be proven through domestic tourism and all of us should play a part to boost the country’s tourism industry.
“We need to position Malaysia as a safe tourist destination for future visitors, so they will choose to visit us after the situation has recovered and when the country is open to tourists from outside, ” she told reporters yesterday.
Nancy said a survey conducted by Tourism Malaysia on post-movement control order (MCO) domestic travel found that 50.9% respondents believed that travelling within the country is safer after the MCO.
“About 84.2% also believed that Covid-19 has changed their attitude towards travelling and 71.3% chose Malaysia as their holiday destination compared to abroad.
“Everybody is excited to travel again, ” she said.
Nancy said among the ministry’s recovery plan was to remodel its promotion and marketing activities and embark on a public relations campaign, which would focus on restoring confidence of the people to travel again.
The ministry would also prioritise the usage of digital platforms such as social media, blogs and e-marketing, she added.
Nancy said tourism services and products must adhere to the standards of the National Security Council, particularly on safety and cleanliness.
“This is important at main tourist attractions so that tourists can feel safe and satisfied, and perhaps they will choose to stay longer and visit more places, ” she said.
To ease the burden of tourism industry players who are affected by the pandemic, the ministry has allowed an exemption on licence fees for travel agents and tour guides from March 17 to Dec 31.
Travel agents and tour guides are entitled to a 40% discount on any compound payment before Dec 31.
Malaysia entered the recovery MCO phase starting yesterday in which domestic travel has been allowed.
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