THE Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the tourism industry tremendously, and Malaysia is neither exempted.
Majority local tourism companies faced the possibilitiy of winding up their businesses when the industry was paralysed especially during the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) by the Government.
However, there were exceptional tourism entrepreneurs who could still maintain their businesses, and moved forward although they too were impacted by the outbreak.
The success stories of these 12 best tourism companies have been compiled in a book Showcasing Malaysia’s Tourism Heroes 2.0 (SMTH 2.0) published online by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and Tourism Industry Nexus (TPN) which has been uploaded onto MPC website at http://www.mpc.gov.my/ebook/latest-heroes/index.html.
According to TPN chairman Uzaidi Udanis, SMTH 2.0 is their second publication, after the first series launched last year, and hope that the latest version would benefit the tourist industry players.
“It was first launched last year when we gave recognition to several of Malaysia’s ‘tourism heroes’. This time, it is more significant, as we are facing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he shared.
“We saw that there are many industry players who tried to sustain their businesses in the current situation. We e-published SMTH 2.0 where we recognised 12 companies which have shown remarkable achievements even during the pandemic, ” he said in an interview with mStar.
Uzaidi said it is hoped that other tourism players could follow the best practices by those exceptional tourism companies which have been presented in the publication.
“With this book, we can learn the best practices and models in the tourism indsutry. Moreover, tourism industry players can directly liase with these 12 companies to get knowledge and insights for their business, ” he emphasised.
Commenting on the country’s current situation regarding the tourism industry, Uzaidi suggested to tourism operators not to be afraid to make any changes to sustain their businesses and support the industry.
MPC and TPN highlighted several initiatives and provided necessary platforms which could benefit the local tourism players in these challenging period.
“The Government has always stressed on the new norm. Do not rely on past glory, so we should not feel too comfortable.
“Times have changed, the world has changed, and the way of our customers buy products (tourism) has also changed. Who can help us?
“That is the reason MPC through TPN have provided various platforms. We have mentors who could give training and assist the industry via the Malaysia Virtual Experience (MyVXp) programme, ” he said.
One of the chosen companies which shared its success story in the book is Maverick Trainers and Consultants which was recognised with Malaysia Tourism Excellence (MaTEx) Business Certification in 2019.
The company’s representative Emma Muis concurred with Uzaidi.
The pandemic and the implementation of MCO has adversely impacted her business and those of other tourism entrepreneurs.
Holding to the principles of not giving up, she attempted to use available technology to enable her company to carry on.
“With the help of TPN, we got ideas on how to overcome the pandemic by changing our way of working. We have to change, or else we will fail to sustain.
“We cannot consider the pandemic as the obstacle to moving forward. There is always a way. Like the inspiring quote, when one door closes, another opens.
“In whatever circumstances, we try our best to identify the steps to move forward. We cannot deny that there were many who had to wind up their business, ” she said.
She said that tourism players need to be open minded and stay closer to the relevant parties such as TPN when faced with difficulty to continue in the face of Covid-19.
Hassan Muhamad Suyat from Santika Hulu Langat viewed the pandemic as a turning point to make changes to his company.
He acknowledged that the MCO forced him to think out of box to avoid closing shop.
Hassan Muhamad Suyat from Santika Hulu Langat viewed the Covid-19 pandemic as a turning point to make changes to his company.
“Previously, we will just go with the flow, but during the MCO, we changed our business structure, as I shared in SMTH 2.0.
“Now, our company will save 20% of our profits. As soon as we got make a profit, we immediately save 20%. We did not do this before the MCO.
“After the MCO, we have awareness on how to improve the company. We changed our mentality, we use new concepts and try different things. If it is effective, we will continue with it, ” he said.
“Later, we attempted to collaborate with the industry players. Do not stop to learn, as from there, you will get ideas from other industry players to move forward.
“We expect the industry to recover. For the time being, we carry out our marketing initiatives online, ” he pointed out.
Aside from these two companies, other “tourism heroes” listed in the publication are Arba Tour and Travel, Jenoba Tourism, Ohana Adventure Sport, ORL Ventures, Outdoor Geeks Products and Services, Pearl Island Adventure, Pulau Buta Eco Tourism, Rashihah Resources (RNR), SEAAT Resources (South East Adventure Travel) and Hafiz Cherating Activities.
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