Kuala Lumpur, 9 November 2020 – The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) refers to the national Budget 2021 that was presented by the Minister of Finance on 6 November 2020, and we want to refer to the allocation for the tourism industry and wish to highlight the RM50 million allocated for the re-skilling and deployment programmes for 8,000 of airline staff that was retrenched in these difficult period.
MATTA views this support as unfair and biased to only one sector, airlines, in the tourism industry, which also consist of travel agents / tour operators, hotels, land transportation, F&B operators, shopping, and others that employs more than 3.6 million people and contributes 15% to the national GDP.
While MATTA sympathise with the plight of workers in the aviation sector and we are glad with the allocation of RM50 million to help them, we strongly feels that support for re-skilling and deployment programmes for retrenched workers should be comprehensive and all inclusive to those workers affected in the whole tourism industry, as all the workers are suffering in the same boat.
In the travel agency / tour operator sector alone, for example with 5,000 travel companies on an average that had to lay off 5 staff per company, it would be at least 25,000 workers. What about the other sectors in the industry with their number of workers retrenched? The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture had been quoted to say that near to 1 million people working in the tourism industry will lose their job.
With such a huge number of people that have either lost their job or going to lose their job in the tourism industry which is now badly crippled, the government should give due and urgent consideration and sufficient allocation to this vulnerable industry that has to face the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic.
MATTA reiterates our call to the government to reassess and to provide a much better support to the tourism industry, an economic sector that has brought in huge benefits to the country and people in the last decades. The Budget 2021 clearly was lacking in substantial support to set the road map of recovery for the tourism industry in 2021 and beyond.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG
Term 2019 – 2021
For further information, contact:
MATTA Communications Department, firstname.lastname@example.org or 03-9222 1155.