KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 ― A Selangor travel and tourism association described the state’s plan to spend RM5.85 million on the sector next year “small” for its contribution and hopes the state government can commit more for its revival.
Persatuan Pengembaraan dan Pelancongan Selangor (SAFTTA) president Fathir Badri claimed that the allocation for the sector by the state government in its Budget 2021 would not be enough to cover both the cost of managing and developing activities to lure tourists after it had been hobbled by Covid-19.
“This small allocation can be regarded as sufficient only if channelled directly into reviving the tourism sector but we worry that it will have to be shared with management expenditure,” he said in a statement today.
“In comparison, Penang has allocated RM14.11 million for development of Bukit Bendera area, RM2 million for Eco-Tourism development and another RM2 million to improve arts and culture in Penang. Here we get to see how serious the Penang government is in driving the revival tourism sector there,” he added.
The Selangor government has set aside RM2.32 billion for its state Budget 2021, of which RM1.22 billion or 53 per cent will go towards operating expenditure while RM1.1 billion or 47 per cent is allocated for development.
Fathir pointed out that Selangor received the most tourists last year, with 33.6 million visitors who brought in RM15.5 billion in revenue, which is the highest in Malaysia.
“As the state that receives the largest number of tourists in Malaysia, the Selangor government should show more commitment in helping the revival of tourism in Selangor post Covid-19,” Fathir said.
He suggested the Selangor administration consider tax and business licence exemptions to tourism operators to help revive the industry.
“This step is definitely possible, it can be done to help tourism players survive and remain relevant to help revitalise tourism in Selangor,” he added.
Fathir hopes Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and the tourism board can meet his association to further discuss the industry revival plans.
SAFTTA described itself as a newly formed association representing travel and tourism agencies in Selangor.