KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The inclusive Budget 2021 touching on the involvement of various parties contributing to the economic chain related to the tourism sector is seen capable of revitalising the sector which is badly affected by Covid-19.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said economic chains in the country’s tourism industry such as accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, travel agencies, arts and cultural heritage assets as well as event management should be given attention.
“MOTAC is confident of the government’s determination in ensuring the second integral goal (in Budget 2021) namely business continuity through strategies to strengthen strategic sectors, especially the tourism industry, will help all involved in the growth of tourism, arts and culture sectors in the country,” she said in a statement today.
Nancy said the government’s attention would indirectly enable more parties to contribute to the growth of the tourism, arts and culture industries, as well as to plan more sustainable and competitive strategies.
When tabling the 2021 budget last Friday, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz announced, among others, that the government will provide training and placements for 8,000 employees of airline companies in Malaysia with an allocation of RM50 million.
The government will also provide employment opportunities for 500 people in the local and Orang Asli communities as tour guides at all national parks to boost the ecotourism segment while to ensure the readiness of tourist hotspots, a total of RM50 million will be provided for maintenance and repair of tourism facilities throughout the country.
Nancy also welcomed the RM100 million allocation to the regional corridor authorities, especially the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority to provide new skills training to workers badly affected by the closure of borders to foreign tourists.
“This will assist them in securing new employment or source of income,” she said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Tourism Council (MTC) president Uzaidi Udanis described the government’s allocation to repair and maintain the heritage buildings as timely.
He said the absence of tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic will further accelerate the effort thus ensure that the country’s heritage buildings will continue to be preserved.
“For example, just look at the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia and Buckingham Palace in London, although there are no tourists now, but the heritage buildings are still being upgraded. This is the right time to do it,” he told a press conference.
Uzaidi said MTC would be organising Malaysia Tourism Gold Summit 2020 via online at http://www.MTCSummit from November 11 to 13 to re-empower the tourism industry.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang welcomed the RM50 million allocation for the reskilling and deployment for 8,000 of airline staff.
He also reiterated the association’s call on the government to reassess and provide a much better support to the tourism industry. — Bernama