Motac provides financial aid for 37 NGOs in tourism industry

The ministry has also introduced a special fund to supports the development of small and medium tourism entrepreneurs


THE Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) has identified 37 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to receive financial aid from an overall allocation of RM318,000.

Motac secretary general Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat said in light of the Covid-19 and Movement Control Order impacts, the financial aid can be used to support any utility payments such as water and electricity bills on top of reopening operations.

“This is to help NGOs to make a move as most of them have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This aid is only a starting point and we have identified 37 NGOs to help them begin their activities and resume their operations,” he said at the financial aid distribution ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Noor Zari added that the ministry would be discussing with the Ministry of Health and National Security Council in regard to increasing the audience capacity at Istana Budaya.

“For now, when it reopens, the issue will be capacity as social-distancing guidelines must be adhered to and therefore there will not be enough space to support a larger audience,” he said.

The tourism industry was hit with RM45 billion in losses within the first half of the year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Motac Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the industry was one of the economic sectors which were hit the hardest by the pandemic and is expected to be the last to recover, as most of its workforce is in the services sector including hospitality, food and beverage, arts, entertainment and recreation.

Starting from tomorrow, tourism subsectors such as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions as well as wellness and reflexology centres are allowed to be reopened and they are expected to attract crowds to bolster the industry.

Similarly, Nancy had previously announced that a “Galakan Melancong Malaysia” grant would be extended to assist local tourism stakeholders, which is primarily for promotion and marketing activities.

The ministry has also introduced a Special Fund for Tourism, managed by SME Bank, which supports the development of small and medium tourism entrepreneurs by offering soft loans with a minimum of RM50,000 and a maximum of RM10 million, depending on the potential of the proposed project.