Tourism industry on the brink of collapse, says Matta as he seeks financial support

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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Travel and Travel Agencies (Matta) urged Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz to elaborate on his efforts to help tourism businesses which are currently in dire financial straits.

“The Malaysian tourism industry is on the verge of total collapse and the Ministry of Finance must be precise in its allocation not only to preserve tourism businesses and workers, but also to prepare and empower the industry for a major comeback. Matta Chairman Datuk Tan Kok said. Liang(Photo) said in a statement today.

In 2019, Malaysia received 26 million foreign tourists with a turnover of 89.1 billion ringgit, surpassing palm oil exports by 70 billion ringgit and rubber gloves by 22 billion ringgit.

“Don’t ignore the industry now just because the borders remain closed and there isn’t a lot of tourism activity,” Tan said. “Our businesses are in bad shape due to regulatory constraints imposed by the government while other countries are recovering more quickly in their battle against Covid-19.

“As the borders have remained closed for the past 18 months and with just a small travel bubble for Langkawi, we are begging Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul to provide targeted assistance to tourism businesses and workers directly affected. This includes extending the wage subsidy and automatic moratorium on bank loans and waiving interest at least until the end of this year for borrowers directly affected by the pandemic. “

Tan said tourism industry players took out business loans in 2020 in anticipation of the government overcoming the pandemic, but today tourism activities remain limited and they are forced to pay the costs. bank deposits and interest without any income.

“How are we going to maintain ourselves? The irony is that while the economy as a whole suffers, financial institutions are recording billions in profits during the pandemic, ”he said.

“The Ministry of Finance needs to provide practical financial assistance beyond tax incentives or tax breaks or deferral of installment payments that we cannot benefit from because tourism businesses have already accumulated tax losses in 2020 and 2021. As such day, we have more than enough. tax losses to offset “so-called expected profits”.

Tan said Matta welcomed the recent statement by former finance minister Lim Guan Eng reminding the government not to put the tourism industry aside.

Lim had urged the government to provide additional subsidies to workers in the tourism industry, to waive interest on bank loans during the moratorium, to provide subsidies and subsidies on rentals and utilities to businesses that had survived the losses of 100 billion ringgit last year.

“We have the potential to recover quickly to support the national economy, but does the Minister of Finance have the same confidence? We urge the Minister of Finance to announce direct and accessible financial support in the 2022 national budget next month, ”added Tan.

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