By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By TMR
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) hopes the upcoming Budget 2018 will have more incentives and allocations for airport upgrades to boost the tourism industry.
MAHB MD Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali said as the tourism industry generates the second-highest income for the nation, it should be given due priority in the national budget.
“There is also the upgrading of airports. We hope more of these airports will be upgraded to allow more tourists into Malaysia. We really hope this becomes a reality,” he said when met at the Malaysian Investor Relations Association (MIRA) annual awards yesterday.
Based on a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the total contribution of travel and tourism to the national gross domestic product (GDP) was RM167.5 billion, or 13.7%, of the GDP last year. The amount is expected to rise by 4.2% in 2017, and to rise by 5.4% per annum to RM295.6 billion, or 15.9%, of GDP in 2027.
According to Mohd Badlisham, MAHB is working towards upgrading at least eight of the 38 airports under the firm to allow landing of aircraft regardless of the weather.
“Previously, due to certain weather, we have had planes being redirected. We do not want that anymore.
“The upgrade is already being done in phases. We have already done some, but there is a lot more to be done,” he said.
In February, Mohd Badlisham said MAHB plans to spend over RM100 million to upgrade the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the other 38 airports that it manages in Malaysia.
The upgrading works include basic facilities at the airports, as well as the airside.
Mohd Badlisham was awarded the Best CEO for Investor Relations (IR) for mid-range companies at the MIRA awards ceremony.
A total of 25 awards in 10 categories polled according to market capitalisation were presented.
The categories include “Best Company for IR Award”, “Best CEO for IR Award”, “Best CFO for IR Award” and “Best IR Professional Award”, among others.
Both AirAsia Bhd and HSS Engineers Bhd bagged five awards respectively.
Also present during the awards luncheon were Bursa Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan and Securities Commission Malaysia deputy CEO Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin.
Over 450 distinguished guests from the Malaysian IR community, as well as listed entities attended the event. The MIRA IR Awards 2017 was organised with the support of Bursa Malaysia.