Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said the Government is making substantial efforts to help players in the tourism sector in the country who were seriously affected by the COVID-19 survival pandemic.
According to the Minister for Finance, Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Abdul Aziz, this has been proven by RM200 million allocation under Budget 2021 for the Tourism Recovery Plan.
Although the allocation was not specified in the Budget2021 table, Nancy clarified that its ministry had obtained the allocation.
“This is not a supplementary budget, this is the budget for tourism for 2021. Apart from that, there was the allocation for handicraft as well...if last year we received only RM57 million, we are getting RM91 million.
“Similarly, Aswara was not mentioned and all these budget allocations are important for us to highlight and to inform industry practitioners especially in tourism and those involved in handicraft,’ she said in a Budget 2021 interview.
The Ministry has reported that it has implemented many measures under the tourism recovery plan, such as discounts for tourist destinations, family vacation packages, promotion of arts and culture, vouchers for hotels and meetings in Malaysia.
The ministry has and will introduce several key strategies for the restoration of the domestic tourism industry, in addition to giving new ideas to the government to permit tourist activities between the green zones in the country.
“These include offering more creative and interesting tour packages such as organizing tourism festivals and carnivals online besides giving priority to government-approved segments, such as medical tourism, theme parks, and MICE (Travel, Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibition),” she added.
She said that several places in the budget presentation did not address and she was aware of the concerns of the unhappy industry players because they did not specifically mention their industry in the budget.
As such, Nancy said she had held a meeting with industry practitioners several days after the submission to clarify and address efforts for the restoration of the tourism industry.
She said that a meeting with bank NEGARA Malaysia soon included a discussion on the PENJANA Tourism Financing Scheme presented by industry stakeholders among the fast steps taken to assist the sector in the tourism sector.
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