Matta: Stimulus package will help boost domestic tourism


THE RM20 billion worth of economic stimulus package announced by interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday will help boost the country’s domestic tourism market.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) deputy president Mohd Akil Mohd Yusof said the package will help hotels across the country mitigate the dip in occupancy amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We are very happy that almost all the things that we requested and put forward have been approved.

“We hope our members will take full opportunity of the funds and initiatives for their benefit,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, Langkawi Tourism Industry Association president Ahmad Phisol Ishak said the package announced is a positive move that would help industry players deal with the recent drop in business.

“The package caters to the need of industry players such as hotel operators, product owners, as well as tourist guides. It really gives the message that the government realises the impact on the players and is trying to help.

“The announcement provides opportunities to industry players in Langkawi to devise the best strategy to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses,” he told Bernama in Langkawi yesterday.

Taxi driver Hamid Awang, 67, who is based at the Kuah ferry terminal said since the start of the pandemic, his income has reduced by 40%.

“I used to get more than five trips daily, but the outbreak affected my income very much. I had only three trips today.

“The impact of Covid-19 is really felt, especially in the drop of Chinese tourists.

“Dr Mahathir has announced that the government will pay a RM600 one-off to registered taxi drivers, tour bus drivers, tourist guides and trishaw peddlers. Praise to Allah, it can help with our problems at the moment,” he said. — Bernama