Govt to further intensify tourism industry Print
Friday, 23 October 2009 17:04

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday tourist arrivals remained high, averaging two million per month, despite the weak global economic environment and the outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic.

Najib, who is also the finance minister, said that as at August this year, the tourist arrivals increased 4.4 percent to 15.4 million compared with 14.7 million during the same period last year.

"To further intensify the tourism industry, the government will allocate a total of RM899mil in 2010," he said when tabling Budget 2010 in the Dewan Rakyat.

Najib said that among the main programmes to be implemented were to attract more participants from Britain, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East, India and China to participate in the "Malaysia My Second Home" (MM2H) programme.

Another was to upgrade the quality of infrastructure in tourism centres throughout the country, such as ecotourism development and upgrading of homestay facilities, he said.

Najib said efforts would be made to ensure that front liners in the tourism sector were locals and, in this regard, the service of foreign workers employed as front liners would be terminated in stages.

He said the government would utilise Internet-based advertising to promote tourism activities and would provide more attractive tourism products and events, including the KL Grand Prix Fest, National Water Festival, Rain Forest EcoChallenges and Malaysia International Golf Exhibition as well as launch a largescale shopping mall for branded items based on the factory outlet concept.

"The tourism industry has the potential to be further developed, given its high value added, including ecotourism, edutourism and health tourism," he said.

He said that to further promote the medical tourism industry, the government would enhance tax incentives for healthcare service providers who offer services to foreign health tourists.

"Income tax exemption of 50 percent on the value of increased exports will be increased to 100 percent.

“This enables healthcare service providers to offer high quality health services and attract more health tourists," he said.

- Bernama


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