Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Plans to revive the tourism and cultural sectors through the domestic tourism campaign, which began in June to face the post-Movement Control Order (MCO), are beginning to show positive developments.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said efforts to spark the domestic tourism alive would continue to be carried out, such as through the hosting of the Semarak Pelancongan Domestik and Kempen Cuti-cuti Malaysia, to help the industry players.

She said that prior to the enforcement of the MCO, the tourism and cultural industries were among the main drivers of the country’s economic growth by contributing about 15.5 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“In 2019, income from the tourism industry rose to RM86.1 billion compared to RM84.1 billion in 2018. However, after the MCO was enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic sectors under MOTAC’s (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture) portfolio were among those worst affected and led to a negative impact on the overall growth of the economic sector.

“In facing these challenges, my dedicated team in Motac and I will always look for the best initiatives and methods towards ‘The Great Re-Set’ to re-invigorate the tourism, arts and culture sectors, especially domestic tourism,” she said at the poetry recital programme in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration at Wisma MPM here yesterday.

She said the ministry had also come up with a new domestic tourism campaign called “Cuti-Cuti Kuala Lumpur”, which focuses on attracting locals from all over the country to visit the capital city.

“Although Kuala Lumpur is synonymous with its status as the country’s capital, it cannot be denied that it also has exciting tourism attractions which promise something for every Malaysian,” she said.

She said MOTAC was reviewing and improving the Malaysia Homestay Experience Programme to attract the younger generation, especially those in rural areas, to be involved in tourism, arts and culture programmes as well as to enhance the programme’s brand as one of the country’s main tourism products.

Meanwhile, Nancy said the ministry, through its agencies, was consistently creating human capital development among industry players by carrying out guidance activities on arts and culture for the younger generation in schools and higher education.

“Among them are the Program Bimbingan Seni Budaya (PBSB) and other programmes related to the preservation of cultural arts and heritage,” she said.

At the event, themed ‘Kedaulatan Bangsa dan Negara’, national figures and personalities like Tun Haniff Omar, Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling, Prof Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan and Datuk Jamal Abdillah were also present to recite poetry. – Bernama