Tourism Industry at Risk of Crash as Government Continues to Neglect Industry as a Whole, Says Balik Pulau MP | Malaysia
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GEORGE TOWN, May 11 – Malaysia’s tourism industry is on the brink of collapse due to the RM100 billion in losses it suffered last year and this recent National Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 will further harm the industry, according to Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said that commercial activity in the industry is only picking up with the next holiday season and during Ramadan with buka puasa or breach of quick offers.
“The national AGC has meant that rooms reserved for the Aidilfitri season will be canceled, adding more burden to an industry which is already facing collapse since the country’s borders were closed,” he said in a release today.
He said Malaysia recorded 26 million tourists in 2019, which fell to four million in 2020, an 80% drop and a loss of RM100 billion for the sector last year.
“The tourism industry is suffering and struggling to survive since the first AGC could shut down altogether if the government does not take action to help the industry,” he said.
He said stimulus measures, other than the Strategic People and Economy Empowerment Program (Pemerkasa) should be introduced to help the tourism industry survive.
“The government should consider allowing hotel guests to dine on site through strict SOPs,” he said.
He reminded the government that there are more than 7,000 workers in the hotel industry, while 12,000 workers have already been dismissed or ordered to take unpaid leave due to the inability of hotels to pay them.
“The Socso subsidy for workers’ wages must be maintained for the companies concerned,” he said.
He suggested that Tourism Malaysia promote the country as a destination to other neighboring countries, in preparation for the reopening of borders in the future.
“This is so that visitors think about choosing Malaysia as a tourist destination when the borders are reopened in the future,” he said.
He said the government needs to develop a strategy to help the tourism industry prevent more hotels, travel agencies and tourist attractions from being closed during this time, which could lead to more job losses in industry.