Tuesday, December 7

New approaches to restore tourism industry – Jafry



KOTA KINABALU (Oct 15): Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Jafry Ariffin is optimistic the permission for cross-district and cross-states travel will revitalize the tourism sector in Sabah.

He said that his ministry now concentrates on helping tourism industry players and restore tourists’ confidence and also ensure the tourism sector in Sabah is capable of generating sustainable income.

Jafry said that his ministry is actively implementing various new approaches including aggressive and strategic promotion campaigns to restore the industry.

Among the efforts are online sessions for Sabah tourists exposition that involved Malaysia Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and with the cooperation from foreign trades in the media social campaign.

He said that in order to guarantee jobs for workers involved in the sector, the Sabah government has also given special aids to lodging operators.

Among them are the one off RM2,000 payment to tourism operators and RM300 to tour guides, artists, divemasters, mountain guides and porters.

For hotel and lodging operators, a sum of RM5,000 is given to five and four star hotels, while hotels with three and lower stars rating receive RM2,000.

At the same time, hotels without recognition, Homestay association and rural tourists association were also given a one-off aid of RM1,000.

He said that his ministry is also offering incentives to encourage domestic tourism activities as well as the organizing of business activities including Meetings, Incentives , Conferences and Events (MICE).

“Every one must be aware that restoring this sector to the way it was before the Covid-19 is not an easy task,” he said.

“Nevertheless, tourist operators are now able to relax following the loosening of regulations that allows them to start operating.

According to research carried out by the Sabah Tourist Board on tourist industry players recently indicated that a percentage has terminated their business operations, while 48 percent had to temporarily cease operation due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Operators that continue to carry out their activities until now are around 45.5 percent.