Published on : Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said that the ministry will improve the tourism industry through the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), along with Tourism Malaysia and other industry players. The UNWTO report in 2016 ranked Malaysia at 12th position in terms of tourist arrivals.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in tabling the 2018 Budget on Thursday, had declared the year 2020 as Visit Malaysia Year. Malaysia is also slated to host a series of major international events such as the APEC Summit, World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT), as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in that year.
RM2 billion has been allocated to the Small and Medium Enterprise Tourism Fund to provide soft loans to tour operators with an interest subsidy of 2%. The prime minister had also announced that a sum of RM500 million will be provided to develop and promote tourism through improvement of infrastructure and also promoting homestay and eco-tourism programmes.
Najib expanded the eVisa regional hub by facilitating visa applications worldwide, especially for expatriates, foreign students, and the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H). He also extended tax incentives for investment in new 4-and 5-star hotels until 31 Dec 2020 and tax incentives for tour operators to year of assessment 2020.