KUALA LUMPUR : Since the announcement of MCO 3.0, the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) have received a lot of feedback from its Members & Tourism communities. MITA members consists of companies related to the Inbound & Domestic tourism sector such as Travel Agencies, Transportion Companies, Retails Shops, Restaurants, Hotels, Homestays and etc.
In a survey done with 3,000 MITA members, the Covid-19 Pandemic have so far forced 10% of its licensed Travel Agents to close down, 70% of our member companies are in a dormant/ hibernate state and 20% are still surviving and active with less than 2 staffs.
Refering to the recent comment by Bank Negara Governor that Malaysia is on track for 6-7% Growth with the assumption based on conservative forecast with no interstate travel and international borders to remain closed through 2021, MITA feels that the forecast doesn’t reflect what is happening in tourism industry.
With the announcement MCO3.0, the tourism industry is almost 100% paralysed. There is no growth when interstate and international border remains closed. Its been reported that few popular destination like Langkawi have become like a Ghost Island with no tourists and suffering huge losses.
For the record, the tourism industry used to be a major contributor to our national GDP with and estimate RM90 billions in tourist receipts. We used to provide 4 million jobs for Malaysians which is 24% of total employment in Malaysia.
It is very important to revive our tourism industry . Therefore, below are MITA’s request to the Government in order to ensure the survival of the tourism industry.
1. AUTOMATIC LOAN MORATORIUM WITH ZERO INTEREST
- a) Malaysia Banks including Credit and Finance Companies must help the Nation to combat the PANDEMIC’S ECONOMIC and provide AUTOMATIC LOAN MORATORIUM with ZERO INTEREST FOR ALL LOANS with immediate effect until 31st December 2021.
- b) This Moratorium applies to all individual tourism players and tourism companies who have loans facilities before March 2020.
- c) Since all banks made huge profit in the financial of 2020, we hope BANKS can become a corporate role model in helping the nation during this challenging time. d) Loan moratorium needed : Hire Purchase Loan for Tourism Vehicles including those loans given by credit & leasing companies to Tourism players such as Housing Loan, Hire Purchase Loan, Business Loan
2. STATUS & REVIEW FOR PEMBIAYAAN PELANCONGAN (RM 1 BILLION)
- a) While we thankful and appreciative of the government’s initiative in providing RM 1 billion in loans to tourism players but we need to see the outcome and the impact of the facilities. We hope Bank Negara will be able to provide us the latest status on the disbursement of the funds and facility regularly.
- b) If there is low take up rate on the loan , we need to study why and hope the approval of loans for Tourism Industry players should be made easier and with the relaxed requirements
3. FINANCIAL SUPPORT IN THE FORM OF GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE
We would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC) for providing a one-off cash
assistance of RM 3,000 to more than 5,000 registered tour agencies.
However, we hope that the Ministry can consider another round of assistance since we are already into MCO 3.0.
4. TO WAIVE INSURANCE AND ROAD TAX INCLUDING PUSPAKOM FEE
There are about 9,990 registered Bas Persiaran in the market so based on a minimum rental income of RM600 per day, the bus operators are losing about RM6 million a day. In addition, the bus operators need to pay high insurance fee for Tourism vehicles (Van & Bas Persiaran) which ranges from RM1,000 – RM10,000 per year eventhough the busses are not moving on the road.
Therefore, we would like to request for a special waiver on insurance and road tax including Puspakom fee for all valid registered tourism vehicle for 3 years from 2021-2024
5. EXEMPTION OF TAX FOR TRAVEL AGENTS
We would like to request for Tax Waiver to be extended to all Travel Agents for 5 years from 2021 – 2025 (as the recovery period is expected to take that long for the Tourism Industry).
6. AGILE REGULATION
MITA is requesting for all Travel Agencies
- a) To be allowed to operate from home and close its office premises until December 2022.
- b) To renew its Annual MOTAC License without submitting an audited account . This will reduce the travel agents annual expenditure as Auditors Fee ranges from RM4,000 – RM50,000 per year.
7. CLEAR AND DETAILED SOP
A clear and better Standard of Procedure (SoP) of Covid19 as the constant changes and confusion is causing higher expenses for industry to do business effectively. Therefore we hope MKN can set up a special committee with industry players so that we can assist the Government on detailing comprehensive SOP of Covid-19 especially for the Tourism Industry
8. COMPREHENSIVE TOURISM RECOVERY PLAN INCLUDING INTERSTATE AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
- a) We need to start planning for industry’s recovery such as implementing strategies to open up international border for tourist who have been vaccinated after the MCO 3.0.
- b) We can study and look at other international country’s best practice like Qatar , Maldives , UAE and others. We need to initiate a sandbox (experiment) where we can test the specific destination such as Qatar – Malayisia for example before open up to other destinations.
- c) We should also look at allowing vaccinated Tourist to visit Malaysia without having to go through a quarantine period from October 2021 onwards with compulsory booking through to travel agent.
- d) Hope Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) will allow for the domestic travel bubble after MCO with travel booking through travel agent only.
9. PRIORITY VACCINATION FOR TOURISM PLAYERS
Tourism players are Industry Frontliners so its workers must be given priority for vaccination exercise. The government needs to speed up the vaccination program. Perhaps the program can be opened to the private sector by allowing private clinics to administer the vaccines. Allow private hospitals and facilities to bring in approved vaccines and pass on the cost to willing paying consumers. This will certainly ease the pressure on health frontliners who are at the brink of collapse.
10. TOTAL LOCKDOWN UNTIL 7th JUNE 2021
In view of the current high casses of Covid-19 infections and deaths reported daily, we are calling for the Government to issue stricter and total complete lockdown to ensure we break the chain of infections. We know that it will be tough for most of us but we are ready to sacrifice for the sake of the country and the people. Once we are successful , we can practice NEW NORM of Travelling following
MITA hopes all parties including the players , the stakeholders and the authorities will work together to combat the Covid 19 Pandemic and to move forward with a “NEW NORMAL of TOURISM“, said Uzaidi Udanis; President MITA during the Online Press Conference. We will continue to engage with MOTAC and other Ministries so that the industry can survive now and recover by 2024.