MELAKA, Feb 28 — The Covid-19 pandemic has had a critical impact on all economic sectors in the state, especially the tourism sector, with the decline in tourist arrivals exceeding 70 per cent last year.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said this was compared to 2019, when Melaka had received 18.7 million tourists, with a total revenue of RM21.298 billion.

He said as a state renowned for its tourism activities, the sector is now given priority with various incentives, to revive the economic sector thus driving the economic growth of the state.

“Among them is to continue the ‘Melakan Visit Melaka’ Campaign starting from March 8 until December 31 next year in an effort to revive the tourism industry in the state which is getting worse following a series of movement control orders (MCOs) enforced by the government.

“This is due to the fact that in just three months of its previous implementation, the response received was very encouraging and the campaign has succeeded in reviving the tourism industry in the state,” he said when met after the Melaka government’s one-off donation presentation ceremony under the 2021 Budget initiative for trishaw paddlers, here, today.

Earlier, he visited the tourist centre on Jonker Street. Also present was International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Senator Datuk Lim Ban Hong.

Meanwhile, Sulaiman said, all residents in Melaka, aged 18 and above, including foreign workers, will not be exempted from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, with 600,000 doses allocated in three phases for the state.

“So far, the state government does not intend to buy the vaccine because the amount given to Melaka is enough. So we will only use the vaccine that has been purchased by the Federal government, including the free vaccines for the 40,000 foreign workers,” he said. — Bernama