GEORGE TOWN: A specific stimulus package is needed for the tourism industry, the sector worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, former tourism, culture and arts deputy minister Muhammad Bakthiar Wan Chik said today.
He urged the federal government to draw up a multi-million ringgit package for this sector, which contributes 15% of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
“The package is needed to market the industry and find new ways to promote Malaysia,” Bakthiar said.
From projected revenue of RM10 billion from the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, he pointed out that there is zero revenue now.
He said Malaysia can emulate Japan by offering various deals, from airfares to accommodation, to bring back the tourists.
Australia and New Zealand have created a travel bubble between them where tourists from the two countries need not undergo quarantine on arrival, Bakthiar said.
He suggested that Malaysia makes such an arrangement with countries in the region with low Covid-19 infections such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
He said that there was a need to find a unique way to handle the ill effects from the pandemic, expressing his displeasure with the lack of initiatives and leadership from the Tourism Ministry.
Source: The Sun Daily