KUALA LUMPUR: Additional funding will be requested for the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, says its minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
The Ministry had been allocated the third smallest allocation in Budget 2023, tying with the Foreign Affairs Ministry at only RM0.97bil, a 11.8% decrease compared to its budget allocation in the previous Budget 2022, which was RM1.1bil.
Tiong acknowledged the concerns of industry players that the budget would be insufficient to support the growth of the tourism industry noting that he would look to discuss directly with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for additional funding.
"The tourism sector plays a major role in the economic growth of the country and we must ensure that we have enough funds to support its continuous revival after the pandemic.
"I will first discuss with my team on how to move forward with the current allocation we have been given.
"Once we have established clear goals, I will then discuss with Anwar for more possible funding to meet our goals under Visit Malaysia Year in 2025," he told reporters during a press conference before the launch of the 'It's the Time' Holidays Malaysia Song Campaign at Dataran Merdeka on Sunday (Feb 26).
RM250mil had been allocated to promote the tourism sector in 2023 Budget which Anwar said was inline with a targeted arrival of 23.5 million international arrivals and a projected income of up to RM76.8bil under the planned Visit Malaysia Year campaign in 2025.