Tourism operators should be grateful for what’s given so far- Karim

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (NSTP Pic)


By S. Harrish

SARAWAK’S Tourism Minister has chided local tourism players request for more help from the state government to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

State minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said tourism was not the only industry needing help.

“We are trying our best to help. We have to look at the issue from the bigger picture,” he said, according to a FreeMalaysiaToday report.

He said current tourism incentives include a RM1 million visitors incentive package, providing up-skilling and capacity building for industry players, diversifying the industry and leveraging the e-commerce platform.

He also spoke of boosting the industry’s digital capacity through a RM250,000 online tourism ecosystem fund; enhancing air, sea and land connectivity and accessibility; and establishing training centres for art and handicrafts.

“If you (local industry players) are asking for more assistance and complaining about everything given to you, saying it is insufficient, then what is good enough for you?” he said.

“If you’re not happy, then you should leave this industry and look for another one.”

Adding that the country was transitioning to the new normal, he said industry players in the state should be grateful for the assistance provided so far.

Meanwhile, Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri expects the tourism industry to recover by the second or third quarter of next year, with several strategies in line.

Speaking after meeting Sarawak ministry officials in Kuching last night, she said the government has identified green-zone countries for Malaysia to open its borders to in the near future.

She also spoke of assistance for Sarawak in boosting its tourism industry, saying the state had “missed out” on much.

“Sarawak has contributed a lot to the country, especially oil and gas, so it deserves to be given more assistance,” she said, adding that her ministry is working towards this end with its counterpart in the state.

She said discussions are also ongoing on the State rejoining the Malaysia Tourism Board, adding that it remains at the informal level.

Sarawak withdrew its representative from the board in 2017 after a disagreement with the federal government over the introduction of a new tourism tax.

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