by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) is planning to create special tourism investment zones to revitalise and transform tourism in Malaysia under the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030.
Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (picture) said these investment zones will be set up in each state to encourage cooperation between the state governments and the private sector.
She said Motac is currently working with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) to identify and develop the zones as there are many areas with potential in Malaysia, in which investors can invest and create new resorts.
“Under the special tourism investment zones, there are also other criteria to consider beyond resorts. There are other facilities needed as well, may it be of the banking sector or the commercial sector, or facilities like hospitals or retirement homes.
“The special tourism investment zones are flexible as they can be moulded according to the viewpoints and approaches of the different states,” she said at the virtual Invest Malaysia 2021 Series 2 yesterday.
The National Tourism Policy 2020-2030 is focused on increasing international and national partnerships and ensuring the sustainability and resilience of the tourism industry from future uncertainties.
“We are not the business people, we may not understand what the investors want. So, what we have suggested is that state governments work together with the private sector.
“Land falls under the state control, therefore it is just good for them to work with investors who can see the potential of the lands,” she explained.
She said different states would approach the special tourism investment zones with differing perspectives.
It depends on how the investors put forward their ideas and what the state governments choose to do.
On incentives, she said Motac will provide financial assistance to tourism infrastructure providers.
“Motac has set up the tourism infrastructure scheme which consists of a special tourism fund to help build and maintain tourism facilities in 2020 and 2021.
“The allocation for the tourism infrastructure scheme is about RM1 billion, of which RM542.27 million has been approved and allocated to eligible applicants,” she said.
Nancy added that the government would be thinking of how it can further assist and encourage investors to invest in the tourism industry.
“Hence, the government, states and private sector must come together to attract investments and chart the way for the tourism industry’s growth. Only by doing so can we ensure that no one gets left behind,” she concluded.