Penang asks Putrajaya for measures to safeguard tourism industry

Local tourists are seen waiting in line to buy tickets at the entrance of Penang Hill June 15, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Local tourists are seen waiting in line to buy tickets at the entrance of Penang Hill June 15, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 13 — The Penang state government has written to Putrajaya to request that several measures be implemented to assist the local tourism industry that is suffering from the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin lamented the fact that Budget 2021 failed to allocate funds necessary to assist those in the tourism industry, when it was among sectors worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the country’s borders closed.

“The CMCO has brought all domestic tourism activities to a halt and this is a big challenge for the industry to recover,” he said in a statement today.

He is proposing that the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah extend a 15 per cent discount in electric bills for six sectors including hoteliers, travel and tour agencies, shopping malls, convention centres, theme parks and local airline companies.

“I am also asking the Finance Minister [Datuk Seri] Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz to extend the moratorium and pay subsidies programme to tourism industry players,” he said.

Yeoh is also suggesting that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri to exempt all tour operators and tour guides from paying their license renewal fees and all fees for any additional permits until December of next year.

“The government needs to help tourism industry players to ease their financial burdens,” he said.

He said this is to prevent retrenchment of workers in the tourism industry.

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