Published on : Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Malaysian government will be giving out a stimulus package that would help in boosting up the finance and soften the fallout of business due to the outbreak of coronavirus by either end February or early March.
The decision was made to the public by the finance minister, Lim Guan Eng on Monday, after a three-hour meeting with all the local tourism industry players. The finance ministry has also scheduled additional meetings with local businesses.
Previously, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad mentioned about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the tourism sector.
As per a report of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, a total cancellations of 95,972 room nights, amounting to RM40 million (US$9.6 million) loss in revenue was witnessed from January 26 to February 9.
To quote its CEO, Yap Lip Seng, “We are tracking cancellations from our member hotels and the number is growing every day. Most cancellations are up to the end of February, with the majority originating from China. There are also cancellations from local Malaysians, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, (South) Korea and other countries. People are afraid to travel and that is a problem, despite the situation in Malaysia being well under control and we remaining safe for tourism.”
Till now, out of the 18 positive Covid-19 cases recorded in Malaysia, 12 nationals were from China while six were Malaysians.
The South Korean government has suggested all its citizens to travel cautiously in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand, in addition to China, because of the outbreak, reported Korean news agency Yonhap.
On arrivals, this will have a negative effect from South Korea, which is among the biggest tourist source for Malaysia. For the initial nine months of last year, arrivals from South Korea have risen by 9.7 per cent over the corresponding year to 508,080 tourists. The average length of stay of South Koreans was 6.5 nights and the per diem expenditure was RM728 (US$175.90).
On its part, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) will organize a travel fair, primarily aimed at the domestic market, with an intention to offset the deficit of tourists from China and to meet consumer demand.
MATTA president, Tan Kok Liang explained that the tourism fair, which is supported by Tourism Malaysia, will take place this year on April 4th and 5th at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Airlines, hotels and major attractions participating in the fair are hoped to provide irresistible offers to attract visitors.
As a quick fix to defeat the slowdown at the current moment, the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association is also focusing on domestic tourism by organizing a week-long e-travel fair in late March.