Under-budget allocation may help boost ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ initiative

The under budget allocation can help boost the ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ initiative, said Abdul Karim.

KUCHING (October 8): The allocation announced for the state under Budget 2023 should help further push the ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ initiative, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The state Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts said Sarawak welcomed the federal government’s efforts towards targeting more than 15 million foreign tourist arrivals, which could generate RM47.6 billion in revenue for the country. .

“The amount of RM200 million provided to strengthen the recovery of the sector is reasonable for encouragement, promotion and marketing.

“The government’s focus on high-value tourists from the niche market segment is good for the rapidly growing ecotourism, golf and diving sector, as well as international conventions,” he said in his immediate response to the filing. of the national budget. in Parliament yesterday.

Abdul Karim also considered that the granting of a parallel subsidy for the promotion of tourism (Gamelan), which will involve a promotion and marketing campaign with the industry, is “timely and would be well received by industry players”.

He pointed to the subsidy as “capable of becoming the catalyst and incentive” for the organization of large-scale tourism programs, including international sporting events.

“The Sia Sitok Sarawak initiative, which has been planned and implemented by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) over the years, would see a change by encouraging the ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ (Malaysian Family) to travel to destinations selected from the country.

“Thanks to the federal government for agreeing to allocate RM25 million to provide people with incentives in the form of discounts, coupons and rebates for accommodation, tour packages, handicrafts and works of art up to RM100,” he added.

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Abdul Karim also said that Sarawak welcomed the federal government’s plan to implement the ‘BNM Tourism Funding’ initiative, with a fund of RM500 million, aimed at helping tourism operators.

According to him, this assistance would include raising the funding ceiling from RM300,000 to RM500,000, as well as a 100 percent tax exemption granted on statutory income for each tour operator that can bring at least 200 foreign tourists a year, or handle at least 400 local tourists.

Furthermore, he said that Sarawak would enjoy efforts to make Malaysia a major health tourism destination in that existing tax incentives for the export of private health services would be extended until 2025.

“An allocation to the ‘Malaysia Health Travel Council’ worth RM20 million to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a preferred destination for health tourists is also appreciated,” he said.

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