Azalina wants some government events at hotels
By C.S. NATHAN
PORT DICKSON: The Tourism Ministry will propose to the Cabinet to review a ruling to reduce government events at hotels.
Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the ministry empathised with the Malaysian Association of Hotels which reported losses of some RM100mil after 85% of bookings by government departments and government-linked agencies were cancelled over the past two months.
“Although the move by the government was necessary to reduce expenses, we hope a compromise can be reached as the hotel industry has been badly hit.
“Even the suppliers and those involved in up and down stream industries have been hit by the move,” she said during the launch of the “Zoom” campaign at the Armed Forces Museum yesterday.
A Treasury circular had earlier directed departments and agencies to reduce the number of events at hotels but the ruling resulted in immediate cancellations of bookings.
Azalina said since the tourism sector contributed some RM46bil in revenue last year, measures should be taken to safeguard the industry.
“They are saying that the Government is not recognising their contributions. I think something should be done to help them,” she said, adding that the hoteliers had also asked for lower electricity rates.
“They are hoping the government would not impose a blanket ban on holding events.
“They are even prepared to lower their rates so that these would be affordable to the Government,” she said.
On a separate matter, Azalina expressed her displeasure over the fact that more Malaysians went abroad compared to the number of foreign tourists arrivals.
“Last year, 22 million Malaysians travelled overseas while we had only 21 million tourist arrivals.
“This is sad because we have everything there is to offer,” she said.
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