KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The move to impose tighter standard operating procedures (SOP) for tourism programmes, including the requirement for Covid-19 screening, is to ensure that the industry is not affected by the increase in daily cases at this time.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the move was also among the ministry’s efforts to balance the country’s security, health and economic aspects.

“Like the Citrawarna Keluarga Malaysia 2022 event in Sarawak, we try to introduce strict SOPs by ensuring that everyone completes two doses (of the vaccine), not allowing children below 12 to attend, providing seven canopies to limit the number of visitors and encouraging swab test prior to the event. The secretariat also needs to undergo a swab test.

“We need to find the best way to enable the tourism industry to operate as usual and be responsible in managing the SOPs with the assistance of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry,” she told reporters after officiating the National Craft Day (HKK) 2022 at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex here today.

Meanwhile, she said the ministry has set a RM10 million sales target from HKK 2022, which sees the participation of almost 300 handicraft makers and entrepreneurs throughout the country and is expected to attract 30,000 visitors.

Earlier, Nancy in her speech said since 2003, HKK had generated RM245.4 million in sales through the involvement of 7,831 entrepreneurs and attracted 1.1 million visitors.

“For 2021, the total craft sales was RM197.7 million. I hope we can achieve more in 2022,” she said.

In addition, she said the number of entrepreneurs registered with Kraftangan Malaysia also increased by 4.2 per cent from 6,042 people to 6,296 people last year and the number of handicraft makers also increased by 12.7 per cent to 25,592 people in 2021 from 22,710 people in the previous year.

HKK 2022 brings together handicraft makers and entrepreneurs from the textile and forest products-based handicrafts categories and displays the Raja Permaisuri Agong Clothing Collection.

Visitors to HKK 2022 and the 2022 National Craft Festival can also enjoy a RM30 cash voucher for every RM100 spent at both events. — Bernama