KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) will discuss with the Transport Ministry on the Sarawak government’s request to extend permits for tour buses from 12 to 15 years, said its Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
“Sarawak’s request, for the duration of the permit to be equivalent to that of Peninsular Malaysia’s now, will help the state boost its tourism sector. Therefore, we will continue discussions with the Transport Ministry,” she told reporters here today.
She said this after receiving a courtesy call from Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara), which saw both parties discussing various matters and problems involving ecotourism, heritage and culture at the meeting.
Nancy said to resolve the shortage of licensed tour guides in Sarawak, the government had agreed to help about 20 participants to attend free-of-charge training in the tourism industry.
She also said Sarawak had many tourism and handicraft products that could be highlighted to help boost the country’s economy, especially for domestic tourism after the severe decline in the tourism sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Motac expects the country’s tourism, arts and culture sector to begin recovering in stages starting next year this is based on the response of local tourists to travel within the country now, including to Sarawak,” she added.
Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the state’s tourism industry was now focusing on domestic tourism to begin their recovery process, thus hoping to work more closely with the Federal government to attract more local tourists. — Bernama