Azalina meets Selangor tourism industry players
TOURISM Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has given an assurance the ministry would not discriminate against states run by Pakatan Rakyat.
This assurance came after she met Selangor tourism industry players, including budget hoteliers, travel agents, hotel associations, tourist bus operators as well as tourism officers from the Selangor Tourism Action Council in Shah Alam recently.
The minister also visited prime tourist sites in Selangor, including Batu Caves and Pulau Ketam the same day. She told the industry players that the Federal Government and the country needed the revenue from the tourism industry.
Tourism is the second largest revenue earner for Malaysia, raking in some RM44.5 billion last year with 20.9 million tourists.
“When I met representatives from the Selangor state government, they said they had no problems with the tourism development in the state.”
She was upset these same people later raised tourism issues at the state assembly meeting to gain popularity. Azalina hoped there could be a more sincere working relationship.
On tourism programmes in such states, Azalina said the financial management now came under the secretary-general of her ministry, instead of the state financial officer.
Azalina said her ministry was seeking funds from the government to set up a bureau where Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry players and the ministry officers can co-ordinate and develop the MICE market further as this is a important revenue earner.
She said revenues from MICE contributed to more than 30 per cent of the total tourism revenue.
“The last time we submitted the proposal to the Finance Ministry, it was turned down because the bureau was deemed too expensive to set up. This time, I hope it will become a reality.”
She said she was also working with Pempena, a subsidiary of Tourism Malaysia, to help promote shopping and other business activities within the setup of the bureau.
Among others, the minister assured tour bus operators, budget hotel operators as well as travel agents that their problems would be looked into. These included the problem of high insurance premiums for tourist vehicles, limousine licences and the survival of budget hotel operators.
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