PUTRAJAYA, JUNE 2020 – Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has announced the tourism and cultural rehabilitation plan to enable the country’s economy to recover immediately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. YB Dato ‘ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and culture, said during a press conference today, “For a start, we want to prove through domestic tourism, which is amongst our own, whether here today or out there, that we should work together, revitalizing the national tourism industry, thus placing Malaysia as a safe tourist destination to be visited in the future. This is in line with our mission in the future when the tourism sector will be opened for outside visitors.” She said that the revival of ‘ rebound ‘ of the national tourism and culture industry, preliminary strategies of tourism and cultural recovery plans have been identified in helping to ease the burden of the tourism industry’s players to address the impact of pandemic COVID-19 outbreak, namely:
1. Implementation of the Domestic Tourism Pilar course in collaboration with the Association of Tourism Training InstitutesMalaysia (ATTIM) and Malaysian Tourist Guide Council (MTGC) from May until November 2020 to the licensed Tourist Guide group whose license will expire between April and December 2020;
2. Exemption of license fee for tour operators and tourist guides licensed under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 or Act 482 from 17 March to 31 December 2020;
3. The granting of a compound payment discount of 40% to all tour operators and other licensed tourist guides imposed by the Ministry prior to 31st December 2020;
4. Extension of compound payment period up to 31 December 2020 for all compound issued to licensed tour companies or guides; and
5. Compound exemption to tourism undertaking and tourist guides who have failed to renew the license within the stipulated period due to PKP provided the complete application must be submitted within 60 days after the expiry of the PKP period.
She added that for the cultural sector, MOTAC has taken the initiative to introduce various online programs throughout the PKP and PKPB. Among the 3 online program segments are as follows: (i) Cultural art development Program; (ii) Cultural arts development Program; And (iii) Marketing and promotional programs.
Apart from that, MOTAC through Tourism Malaysia has already identified programs to boost domestic tourism. These include:-
1. Cross-state public relations activities (Intra & Interstate PR Activation) with local radio companies to promote interesting places throughout Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia will also assist the industry players to promote its products through www.malaysia.travel website and social media available at Headquarters level and regional offices;
2. Promoting the country’s holiday campaign to encourage people to travel within the country in line with the Prime Minister’s information;
3. Using platforms such as E-Travel Fair Malaysia Holidays, E-Corporate Bazaar, and Malaysia Tourism Travel Bazaar to help the industry multiply attractive packages to consumers. This bazaar-corporate platform will also be extended to the domestic MICE industry. Industry players are encouraged to collect attractive packages and submit to Tourism Malaysia through existing tourism associations to be included in the existing platforms such as www.malaysia.travel; And
4. Galakan Melancong Malaysia (GAMELAN) will continue and facilitate from time to time especially for domestic promotion and marketing activities. GAMELAN related information can be obtained from the website www.tourism.gov.my
In order to ensure safety, the opening of the domestic tourism sector also involves a number of prohibited and permitted matters to all standards operating Procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health Malaysia. In this case, MOTAC has backed up 12 tourism and cultural subsectors with SOPS for the opening goal of today. It can be categorized into 2 which are justified with SOPS and forbidden lists. Activities of sub-sectors justified with SOP include:-
- 1. Exhibition of art production, culture & on-premises heritage and cultural public facilities; 2. Premise Hotel accommodation; 3. Travel control companies; 4. Tourist guide driving; 5. Tourism Training Institute (ILP) operations; 6. Homestay experience Program Malaysia; 7. Adventure Tourism and extreme activities (the public SOP of KBS has passed); And 8. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling activities (KBS public SOP has graduated).
Dato ‘ Sri Nancy also said that the tourism and culture industry players need to be prepared with this new norm to ensure continuity in contributing to the country’s economy. She hopes that these efforts would be able to restore the competitiveness of the industry and obtain solid support and full cooperation from all stakeholders including NGOs and related industrial activists.