MPC to ease regulations to help tour operators sustain businesses due to Covid-19 situation

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) will ease regulatory burdens on licensed tour operators to help them sustain their businesses due to the challenges of the Covid-19 situation.

MPC director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman (pic) said the regulations which fall under the purview of the Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Ministry relates to applications made between Jan 1 and Dec 31,2021 for licence renewals, which will now no longer require the submission of an audited financial report.

Abdul Latif added that the approval of licence renewal applications have also been standardised to a period of two or three years, as well as to allow tour operators to co-share office space for a short period of time to reduce their operating costs.

“The government hopes these regulatory changes that were made in response to stakeholder concerns raised under the #MyMudah initiative will provide licensed tour operators with the flexibility they require to continue to sustain their businesses through the Covid-19 crisis, ” he said in a statement on Sunday (Oct 25).

The #MyMudah programme was launched on July 20 to enable businesses to provide feedback on how government ministries and agencies could assist businesses by eliminating or reducing unnecessary regulations which are hampering companies in their bid to revive their business.

Meanwhile, Champion of Tourism Productivity Nexus (TPN) head Uzaidi Udanis said the relaxation of regulations affecting tour operators would significantly ease pressures they faced due to huge losses suffered as a direct impact of international travel bans and movement restrictions imposed both in Malaysia and in countries throughout the world.

“Previously, these regulatory requirements were meant to provide an assessment of a tour operator’s business and operational ability, in order to build consumer trust.

"However, since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, tour operators are now unable to generate sales due to zero-to-low demand, which in turn has affected their assets and driven the need for them to reduce costs such as office leasing, ” he said.

Uzaidi said that in a recent survey conducted by MPC, 90% of tourism players had been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is an equivalent of 450,000 tourism establishments.

He added that in order to sustain their businesses, most tour operators are advised to pivot to digital platforms in providing virtual tour experiences to adapt to the new normal of a post-Covid-19 world.

“The recent announcement by Motac on physical office space is a relief to travel agencies as well. It has given the leeway for travel agencies to lessen its overhead cost as Motac has allowed for co-share office space.

“Tourism industry stakeholders are heartened with the government’s commitment to collaboratively find solutions in mitigating current challenges. We will continue to work closely with government ministries and agencies through the #MyMudah programme to provide feedback on regulations that can be simplified, modernised and streamlined in cognisance of the fluid dynamics of the tourism landscape, ” he said.

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