International tourism expenses in the country decreased by 69.8% from the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic of RM41.69 billion to RM12.58 billion between January and June.
Datuk, Dr. Jeffrey G. Kitingan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said that over RM13 billion of losses were also recorded for domestic tourism expenses in the same period based on the statistics of that Ministry.
"The losses include loss of jobs and source of income following no business activities, salary deduction, as well cancellation of product bookings such as hotel and tourism packages," he said during a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara, yesterday.
He answered Senator Datuk Yakubah Khan's questions and related questions concerning special assistance to tourism operators affected by the outbreak COVID-19.
Jeffrey said the government provided incentives and assistance to boost the industry through the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package and the additional PRIHATIN small- and medium enterprises (PENJANA).
"Under PRIHATIN, all tourist guides registered under MOTAC (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture) received one-off assistance of RM600.
"Until August 25, 2020, over 7,000 tourist guides have received the aid with the total amounting to more than RM4 million," he said.
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