Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the tourism sector of the country is expected to have a loss of RM45,000 billion this year as a result of closing the international borders, due to the result of the COVID 19 pandemic.
She said that overall losses of over RM31 billion were anticipated for international tourism, while the remainder was for the domestic sector.
"International tourist spending decreased from RM21.4 billion in 2019 to RM12.5 billion this year, according to statistics of the Ministry, for the period January to March," she said in her reply during the oral question and answer session in Dewan Rakyat.
She was replying to questions related to the same matter submitted by 11 MPs including Yusuf Abd Wahab (GPS-Tanjong Manis), Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris (BN-Jerantut), Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (GPS-Batang Lupar), Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu (PH -Batu Gajah) and Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort).
"The Ministry, however, expects that from the second quarter of this year, after opening the State borders, the tourism sector in the recovery phase will be driven by the domestic tourism," she said.
She also stated that once the borders of the state had been opened, hotels started recording a high occupancy rate of up to 75%, which proven a bounce in the domestic tourism sector.
"All Malaysians should be encouraged to go to fir 'Cuti-Cuti Malaysia' to improve the country's tourism industry before the COVID-19 pandemic is eradicated," she said.
The tourism sector is the third-largest contributor, after the manufacturing and commodities, to Malaysia's gross domestic product ( GDP) growth of RM86,14 billion.
Nancy said in the meantime that the Ministry has also supervised tourism destinations so that operators comply with the SOP, and to promote the location as a safe area.
'This is one of the strategies of the tourism recovery plan for revitalizing and rejuvenating the domestic tourism sector' she said in her reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena).
Nancy also said that the Ministry held a census to measure public readiness and feedback on holidays.
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