Abdul Karim lauds Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiatives to boost domestic tourism

Abdul Karim receiving a memento from Jane in the presence of Hii (right) and others.

KUCHING, Nov 24: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomes the federal government’s introduction of the Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiatives aimed at expediting the recovery of Malaysia’s tourism sector.

“We welcomed the much-needed initiatives which were recently announced by Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri on the latest initiatives to keep our tourism industry afloat and to remain active despite being badly affected the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement today.

Abdul Karim pointed out the Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiatives which started on Nov 22 will boost the government’s strategies under the Tourism Rehabilitation Plan which aims to reignite visitors’ confidence in travel while focussing on reviving domestic tourism.

“The introduction of the approved standard operating procedure (SOP) for local visitors is also timely because it will enable movements between green zones within the country, and subsequently, (over) our borders. Thus, such measures will contribute meaningfully to our local tourism sector,” he said.

He also lauded the federal government’s other initiatives which cover accommodation, transportation and discounts on the purchase of handicraft products at Karyaneka outlets.

“The support given to the local handicrafts industry through Karyaneka will support the livelihoods of our local craftsmen and create income-generating activities which had been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19,” he added.

Abdul Karim also called on local hoteliers and accommodation providers to support the government’s initiative by offering various attractive room packages which may encourage visitors to take up the discount opportunities that may be used during their next domestic trip.

According to him, local travellers are now looking for discount promotions and the recent “Sia Sitok” campaign which was launched by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) with support from his ministry and local tourism industry players has proven to be a hit among Sarawakians.

“We have to concur that all of our tourism industry players must try to offer attractive short or long-term holiday packages to our own local folks while maintaining the SOPs under the new norm to ensure the highest safety level and also the sustainability of the country’s tourism economy.

“Collectively we should continue working hard in coming up with good travel programmes and initiatives that can help revitalise Sarawak’s domestic tourism sector which over the past decade, has contributed to the growth of the state’s economy,” he added.

However, he lamented that the Covid-19 pandemic has subdued the outlook for the domestic tourism industry, with movement restrictions which caused a sharp decline in travel and leisure activities.

“As what the Chief Minister had previously mentioned in his state 2021 budget speech, our tourism sector is one of those badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and it had also impacted on the lives of our local folks who are involved in the industry at all levels,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim together with his ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee today received a courtesy visit from the management team of Sarawak Culture Village (SCV) which was led by its general manager Jane Lian Labang.

The visit was to give updates on SCV’s upcoming events and activities especially in the efforts to encourage locals to visit the living museum which is still giving attractive discounts to patrons. — DayakDaily