Thursday, September 23

AirAsia lauds efforts to excite local tourism


Visitors are seen at the Tugu Negara. Tourism Malaysia launched domestic tourism recovery programme in efforts to revive the sector which was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama photo

KUCHING: Efforts to boost domestic tourism is very much needed to stimulate and revive the industry here.

This follows the announcement of Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) effective June 10, 2020 by the Prime Minister which includes the opening of domestic tourism.

Tourism Malaysia launched domestic tourism recovery programme in efforts to revive the sector which was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Riad Asmat

With income tax relief for domestic tourism expenses of up to RM1,000 and value-added services coupled with extremely affordable prices, consumers will find that this to be the best time to discover the gems that Malaysia has to offer, says AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat.

“We welcome the reopening of domestic travel following the Government’s recent announcement on the RMCO along with incentives such as the RM1,000 income tax relief for domestic tourism expenses up till December 2021.”

“We are all in this together. Reviving the travel and tourism industry will need to be a collective effort, and we look forward to working together with all tourism stakeholders from hoteliers to travel agents to achieve this objective.

“Many industries were very hard-hit, but we believe that appetite for tourism, especially domestic tourism, still remains even in the age of Covid-19,” he told The Borneo Post in an interview.

Thus, the low cost carrier on June 11 introduced its Unlimited Pass to stimulate and revitalise Malaysia’s domestic tourism in support of the government’s effort.

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia, priced at RM399 nett, is available to all Malaysia-based AirAsia BIG Members to purchase on or AirAsia mobile app (under the Deals Tab) until June 15, 2020 (2359h GMT+8).

Once purchased, the pass can be used to redeem flights for travel between June 25, 2020 up to March 31, 2021.

“Kuching and Kota Kinabalu are among the top five destinations redeemed, so we hope that this will be a good kickstart towards both Sarawak and Sabah’s respective local economy,” he added.

When asked if Malaysians focus more on domestic tourism post-pandemic, Riad was optimistic on initiatives to do so.

“At this point, it would still be very hard to tell when ‘post-pandemic’ will be.But as we remain optimistic, a focus on domestic tourism will definitely contribute towards the recovery acceleration of our economy,” he explained.

“Boosting domestic tourism will inject direct benefits to the local communities, improving the livelihoods of our own people which will lead to continued spending and steer us out of this downturn caused by the pandemic.

“This is also a great opportunity for us Malaysians to explore the many places we have yet to go.”

This was part of the reason why AirAsia came up with the Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia as its key offering for guests to redeem unlimited flights within its domestic network across 16 destinations.

“The pass is available for sale for only RM399, and pass-holders only have to pay an additional RM12 (RM11 passenger service charge, RM1 regulatory service charge) on taxes for each one-way flight redemption.

“Imagine you can travel from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur as many times as you want with zero-fare flights until March 31 next year – the savings will be unbeatable.”