Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the 2018 Budget on October 26, 2017 and has outlined initiatives designed to elevate the tourism sector in Commonwealth and world rankings
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the 2018 Budget on October 26, 2017 and has outlined initiatives designed to elevate the tourism sector in Commonwealth and world rankings.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation report in 2016 ranked Malaysia 12th in terms of tourist arrivals.
Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin has said that the 2018 Budget could benefit tourism in Malaysia and improve its position within the global tourism sector.
In the budget, the Malaysian government has allocated US$ 472,846,940 to the Small and Medium Enterprise Fund in order to provide loans to tour operators with an interest subsidy of 2%.
It will also provide US$ 236,423,470 for the development and promotion of tourism through an infrastructure upgrade and through promoting homestay and eco-tourism programmes.
Penang and Langkawi international airports will both be upgraded and US$ 7,092,704 has been allocated to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council to implement initiatives, one of which will be to introduce the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme.
Additionally, the prime minister announced the expansion of the eVisa regional hub by enabling visa applications worldwide, especially for foreign students, expatriates and the Malaysia My Second Home Programme.
Tax incentives for investment in new 4 and 5 star hotels have also been extended until December 31, 2020, as well for tour operators to year of assessment 2020.
The Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister said that the ministry will improve the tourism industry through the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), alongside Tourism Malaysia and other industry members.
Blue Ocean Strategy provides organisations with a set of analytic tools and frameworks to create “blue oceans” of new market space, whilst Tourism Malaysia is the country’s official tourism company.
The 2018 Budget provides a total allocation of US$ 66,257,677,467 to be distributed between eight main focusses.
These are invigorating investment, trade and industries, towards TN50 aspiration, empowering education, skills and training, and talent development, driving inclusive development, prioritising the wellbeing of Rakyat and providing opportunities to generate income, fortifying the fourth industrial revolution and digital economy, enhancing efficiency and delivery of GLC companies and public service, and balancing between the par excellence of worldly and hereafter.