NRC chairman urges ministry to rush Malaysia’s tourism recovery, says four years too slow

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has challenged the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Motac) to rebuild the industry’s fortunes in three years or less rather than the targeted four.

He told reporters after chairing a three-and-half hour NRC meeting in Putrajaya today that the ministry’s target was too conservative.

“NRC feels the four-to-five-year recovery plan Motac proposed is too long, we want to encourage tourism and improve infrastructure so we can still be competitive in tourism in the region. We need an aggressive push in this industry so we can boost the economy.

“NRC feels there is more we can do after listening to Motac’s suggestions and proposals, as this is the second time we are meeting to discuss matters at hand. We liked their previous proposals, but we feel more can be done and I am challenging them to do better,” he told reporters.

Muhyiddin said that while the tourism industry appeared to be improving, data showed plenty of room for improvement as there remained problems such as labour shortages, cash flow issues, unfavourable policies and ageing infrastructure.

He said a more focused action plan was needed to return the country to pre-pandemic levels of tourism.

“Tourism contributed RM180 billion to the country before the pandemic. We’ve given our opinions and now it’s up to the officers in Motac to implement them. Mind you, we are only the body that makes suggestions and not the executors, that is under the purview of the various ministries and agencies,” he added.

On June 10 2020, Motac launched the domestic tourism recovery programme in efforts to revive the sector that was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri said the campaign also encompassed the Tourism Recovery Plan and the Culture Recovery Plan.

She said although the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VM2020) has been cancelled, efforts to promote the country as a safe tourism destination would continue to be implemented.