The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Satta: Measures to help domestic tourism stay afloat
KOTA KINABALU: The initiatives introduced by the Perikatan Nasional-led government under the People and Economic Empowerment Strategic Program (Pemerkasa) will stimulate domestic tourism and benefit industry players struggling to stay afloat amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said the exemption for tourism tax and services tax for hotel accommodation until December 31 this year would encourage consumers to make bookings because hoteliers would offer cheaper room rates.
He said locals would also enjoy tax relief up to RM1,000 when they purchase tourism packages from tour agents registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac), which in turn, translated to discounted tour price. He also lauded the one-off special assistance grant of RM3,000 to 5,000 travel agents registered with Motac as the aid could ease the financial pressure faced by tour operators. He further said the government’s wage subsidy was crucial for the survival of the tourism industry and prevented them from closure.
Liaw also commended the extension of electricity bill discount of 10 per cent for hoteliers, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices and tour and travel agencies and hoped that the government could consider increasing the discount to 30 per cent.