According to the Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Series 2, The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry owes RM107.1 million for advertising and digital tourism promotional campaigns between 2016 and 2018.
The National Audit Department (NAD) found that the outstanding debt was due to unplanned advertising campaigns and procurement without allocation by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board.
NAD said in a report that “The financial management for the promotional campaigns by Tourism Malaysia was unsatisfactory as the expenditure incurred in 2016 and 2017 exceeded allocation of RM56.59 million.
“The promotional campaigns were targeted for markets in the Asian region, including Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China,”.
The audit also found that 231 unplanned promotion programmes were held. Meanwhile, tourist arrivals between 2016 and last year had dropped between 570,000 (2.2%) and 5.85 million (18.4%) from the targeted arrivals. “Due to this, Malaysia was unable to retain its standing in top 10 ranking under the UN World Trade Organisation,” the report added.
The audit also found that 37.8% to 69.1%t of the allocation received from 2016 to 2018 was used to settle the outstanding payment of the promotional programmes.
The audit also found that there was a reduction by as much as RM765 million (0.2%) and up to RM35.835 billion in foreign tourist spending from the projected target between 2016 and 2018.
Among the recommendations made by the Auditor-General is that the ministry needs to coordinate and monitor tourism promotion activities to ensure that all allocated funds are fully utilized accordingly in order for the outcome programme achieved.
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