Under Phase 2 of the national recovery plan, the Malaysian Association of Theme Parks and Family Attractions (Matfa) has issued a "passionate appeal" for the reopening of the industry's key operations.
It added in a letter to the prime minister that the present recovery plan timeframe, which would only allow tourism sectors to operate in October at the earliest, would “further destroy the tourism industry in ways it has already broken.”
According to the report, 3.6 million workers are on the edge of losing their jobs.
Under Phase 2, Matfa proposed reopening theme parks and attractions, cinemas, family entertainment centers, and spa wellness centers, as well as retail malls, resorts, and hotels.
It also stated that the government should collaborate with the commercial sector to develop a short- and medium-term tourism recovery plan, based on best practices from other countries such as Thailand and Europe.
The association advocated new pandemic metrics, such as using the positive rate, the number of serious cases, and ICU admissions, as well as mortality expressed as a number of fatalities per 100,000 people.
“We need to transition from a pandemic to an endemic strategy,” it said, describing a “radical departure” from the “zero-Covid” approach.
However, it noted that if the government decides to retain the industries on the negative list, suitable compensation for tourism enterprises should be considered in the form of financial aid, expedited wage subsidies, operational costs, statutory leave, utility discounts, and tax requirements.
Mafta also urged that the tourism, arts, and culture ministry launch a vaccination program for all tourism-related sectors.
“We are hopeful that the prime minister will restore trust in our ailing economy and provide the impetus that the tourism industry so desperately requires.
“It is no longer an option – it is a requirement – because 3.6 million workers are losing their jobs, and the RM100 billion in company losses cannot be reversed. If we don't stop this tide, it will be lost forever,” it said
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