Step by step, says Nancy Shukri on reviving tourism industry

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri says domestic tourism should be revived first, followed by foreign tourism once the Covid-19 situation improves.

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is seeking to revive the country’s tourism industry despite the cancellation of the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launched on Dec 31, 2019, VM2020 had targeted 30 million visitor arrivals and RM100 billion in revenue. It was cancelled when the movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18.

However, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said efforts to promote the country as a safe tourism destination would continue.

“For a start, we want this (safe travel) to be proven in the domestic tourism industry which we should all work together to revive.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri.

“This is in line with our mission to restart the foreign tourism market when conditions are better,” she said in a press conference to mark the restart of the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign today.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the domestic tourism market would be allowed to reopen with restrictions on cross-border travel lifted under the recovery movement control order (RMCO) phase which starts today.

Nancy said according to a Tourism Malaysia survey on domestic travel after the MCO, 50.9% of 13,797 respondents felt that travelling within the country would be safer after the MCO while 71.3% would opt for domestic trips compared to trips abroad.

She said the ministry’s plans to jump-start the tourism industry include an increased focus on promoting tourism offerings online and rebuilding the confidence of local and foreign tourists through public relation campaigns outlining the health precautions the industry is taking.

Nancy also said ensuring that the ministry abides by the health and safety guidelines set out by the National Security Council, especially in high-volume tourist areas, would reassure tourists that the proper precautions are in place and entice them to spend more time in each tourist destination.

Creating and improving tourism products and destinations, digitalising the tourism sector as well as fostering more public-private partnerships are among the ministry’s other plans to revive the tourism market.

In addition, the ministry has come up with several initiatives to help tourism industry stakeholders such as courses for tour guides, licence fee exemptions for travel agents and tour guides from March 17 to Dec 31, and a 40% discount on all compounds issued by the ministry until the end of the year.

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