SIMUNJAN, Aug 21 — The recovery of the tourism sector must be prioritised in Budget 2023 to spur the economic rebound of the country, says Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Speaking to reporters after attending the official opening ceremony of Esplanade Simunjan yesterday, the federal minister said the recovery of the tourism sector was crucial in spurring economic growth after having gone through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“From my ministry’s perspective, we want to continue supporting the recovery of the tourism sector and assisting our industry players in stimulating the market, especially in driving domestic travelling activities,” she said, pointing out the one-off RM1,800 grant to homestay operators to improve their services and products range, as an example of such support from her ministry.

“Aside from that, we also want to help the travel agents. While we do not know whether the Ministry of Finance will agree to our requests, we will do our best to provide more assistance or subsidies to the tourism industry players in the country.”


Nancy said the recovery of the tourism sector should augur well for many other economic sectors such as industries related to food and beverage, as well as shopping, adding that the movement of people could stimulate the local economic activities of a certain area.

“The tourism sector must be given focus so that the local community and the country can benefit (from it). The sector used to contribute about 15 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) back in 2019, and we have yet to achieve that figure,” she said.

Nancy also pointed out the need for the country to further improve its tourism infrastructure, stressing that local tourism players would need to offer outstanding services to attract high-yield tourists to Malaysia, and to compete with other popular tourism destinations in neighbouring countries.


Moreover, she said her ministry would want to bring back the ‘Budi Bahasa Budaya Kita’ (Courtesy is Our Culture) campaign so that tourists would have a positive image of the country after visiting it.

Touching on the ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ travel campaign, Nancy said her ministry would strive for complementing the products and services offered under the campaign, as well as fostering stronger ties with the Tourism Malaysia agency towards enhancing the local tourism scene. — Borneo Post