KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — The tourism industry is set to benefit from RM1.3 billion across seven initiatives under Budget 2022, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz announced today.

He said that the targeted wage subsidy programme for the sector would continue for those who suffered at least a 30 per cent decline in their earnings.

With a RM600 million allocation, the initiative is expected to benefit over 26,000 employers and 330,000 workers.

Tengku Zafrul also announced RM600 million in business credit for the sector available through the Penjana Tourism Financing and the Malaysia Development Bank Berhad’s (BPMB) Rehabilitation Scheme.

A RM85 million special assistance was also announced for 20,000 tourism operators that have been registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) for at least three months.

“Maintenance of tourism infrastructure with an allocation of RM50 million, including the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Lembah Bujang in Kedah.

“Granting of matching grants for repair purposes to 738 budget hotels registered under Motac as well as repair grants to registered homestay owners with an allocation of RM30 million.

“Granting of matching grants to companies that organise programmes related to arts and culture with an allocation of RM50 million and seventh, incentive fund for the purpose of promotional activities and domestic tourism incentives with an allocation of RM60 million,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul also announced the extension of the special individual income tax relief for domestic tourism expenditure up to RM1,000, until the 2022 assessment year.   

He said that the government would also intensify efforts to revive the international health tourism industry to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a preferred health tourism destination with an allocation of RM20 million to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

Tengku Zafrul said that the government also planned to extend more tax incentives, including income tax exemption to organisers of arts and cultural activities as well as international sports and recreational competitions until the 2025 year of assessment.