KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The government has been urged to provide liquidity and financial assistance to protect workers as well as small and mid-size (SMEs) travel agencies in efforts to revive the country’s tourism sector severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang in a statement today said the assistance should include a wage subsidy programme for employees, a loan moratorium, and grants for travel agencies, among others.
“We urge the government to support the tourism sector now with ‘real action’ while we (the industry) make preparation for a stronger, more sustainable come-back,” he said noting that changes in regulations and policy, public-private sector collaboration, boosting domestic travel and leveraging on technologies in the new norm are urgently needed for the sector to recover from the effects brought about by the global pandemic.
He added immediate measures should be implemented to revitalize the tourism industry that would create a multiplier effect and bring relief to more than 510,000 establishments and SMEs in the various subsectors of the tourism sector.
These recommendations were presented by the association to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri on Feb 19, he said.
On the Tourism National Policy 2020-2030, Tan said the implementation of the post-COVID-19 travel under the new norm and roadmap for the next three years would be a good start towards recovery.