Monday, October 26

Provide subsidy directly to travel agencies – Satta

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Winston Liaw

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) has appealed to the State Government to provide subsidy or inject grant directly to travel agencies to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

Its president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said the Satta and other tourism associations had a fruitful meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew organized by the ministry and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) yesterday.

“Satta would like to thank Datuk Christina Liew for holding the meeting with the heads of tourism associations to understand the difficulties faced by the industry and discuss how the ministry could assist amid the global pandemic.”

Liaw said the travel industry did not benefit from the federal stimulus packages and the second phase of the Sabah Covid-19 Stimulus Package at all.

“The wage subsidies only benefit the employees, while the needs of employers in the travel industry have been overlooked.”

He said every travel agent had lost about RM500,000 to RM1 million in the past few months to keep their employees instead of retrenching them.

“This scenario will not last long when the automatic bank loan moratorium comes to an end in September.

“We expect another round of retrenchment and layoff to happen, only this time it will be much more severe.”

Liaw said the tourism players in the meeting had requested the State Government to provide subsidy or inject grant directly to travel agencies to show its concern towards the plight of the operators.

“We thank Datuk Christina Liew for helping us to convey our voice to the Sabah Government.”