By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 27: The federal government will channel over RM48 million for tourism projects for Sarawak under the 12th Malaysia Plan, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She added that the amount could be more as there are many elected representatives who have not send their proposals to her ministry.
“In relation to tourism in Sarawak, I have received a long list from the State, about RM48 million worth of projects, which I think could be more because some of the YBs are still coming to me
“But that would be considered in the 12th Malaysia Plan,” Nancy told a press conference after chairing a closed-door meeting with Sarawak’s tourism players held at Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching here today.
On a related issue, Nancy revealed that the country lost a staggering RM45 billion in tourism receipts in the first six months of this year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry has estimated the current losses suffered by tourism and cultural industries for the period of January to June 2020 is around RM45 billion.
“Furthermore, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, for April 2020, employment volume has decreased by 1.0 per cent to 14.93 million persons over the same period last year. Among the most affected workforce are in the services sector such as accommodation; food and beverages; arts, entertainment and recreation,” she said.
Thus, the Batang Sadong MP pointed out that an effective post Movement Control Order, tourism and cultural recovery plan was essential to enable the country’s economy to recover as quickly as possible.
“If this is not done, the country’s tourism and cultural sectors will suffer greater losses, delaying the recovery of the industry and economy as a whole as the pandemic recedes.
“The Ministry has identified various strategies in the recovery plan that will recalibrate the country’s tourism and cultural industries.
Indeed, it is important to restore people’s confidence to travel again. The pandemic has caused people to be vigilant and limit their activities, but we need to adapt to survive. As industry leaders, we need to give assurance that the industry practices the new norms to ensure safety and hygiene as the utmost priority,” she said.
To ensure that the tourism industry remained competitive, Nancy said her ministry has implemented several initiatives and programmes to revived the tourism sector. —DayakDaily.