LETTER | Tourism was perhaps the industry most affected by the worldwide pandemic.
All sectors of this once vibrant industry were hit hard and quite a number of operators - big and small timers - have closed shop.
Now with the world slowly recovering from this lethal blow by an invisible enemy, tourism is gradually being revived in the country.
Many operators who faced hard times are looking forward to brighter days ahead.
Malaysia is a major tourist attraction for international tourists who are taken up by the 'Malaysia truly Asia' promotion pitch.
Tourism is also a big-time revenue earner for the country and sustains a large number of businesses and workers.
The 2022 Budget, which will be tabled soon, can also provide a large allocation and incentives to motivate and energise the tourist industry.
Now that interstate travel has been allowed for the fully vaccinated, it is time to revive domestic tourism.
A new round of advertisements, promotions and publicity needs to be started to induce people to travel.
Most people have already forgotten most of the local tourist attractions as for almost two years no ads or promotions were done in the media
The country has forgotten about tourism.
As domestic tourism is now less complicated than international tourism due to various restrictions still in place, a lot of Malaysians could opt for travel around the country, especially to places unheard or unseen before.
To attract domestic tourists who will kick-start the industry before international travellers arrive, it is time to offer attractive and reasonably priced packages as incomes and savings have fallen drastically due to the pandemic.
They cannot be expected to splurge on tourist travel, accommodation, sightseeing or shopping.
As it is the year-end when travel, tours and holidaying begin, both the government and tourism players need to combine and help the industry recover.
With interstate travel permitted, state governments can also help state and district tour operators. Now is the best time to focus on tourist attractions within the state and districts.
There are a lot of tourist sites in the districts that have been overlooked or missed out. The state executive councillors for tourism can formulate initiatives and incentives to help develop state and district tourism.
The state- and district-level travel and tour operators can be invited for a meeting and briefed on the various ways tourism can be revived.
A lot of inputs, feedback and suggestions from the operators can be forwarded to the state governments.
The state governments can provide incentives like vouchers to the tourist operators to encourage people to choose packages.
A closer relationship can be forged between the state governments and the district-level operators, who will be looking forward to regular consultations and assistance schemes from the state governments.
If properly planned, the tourism sector could be the first and fastest to recover post-pandemic.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.