KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry welcomes the federal government’s efforts in reviving the tourism industry through the implementation of the National Tourism Policy (DPN) 2020-2030.

Its Minister, Datuk Jafry Ariffin (pix) assured his ministry will implement the policy according to the suitability in the state in order to boost Sabah’s tourism industry and once again become an important contributor to the state’s economic growth.

The ministry is aware that the tourism industry will take at least two years to fully recover. And that is not a reason for the government to discontinue with all the developments that has been planned.

“Instead, we are diversifying the tourism products as well as upgrade the infrastructures towards achieving high standards of tourism,” Jafry said.

He said his ministry will also ensure that one of the strategic thrusts in the DPN 2020-2030 which is intensifying tourism digitization is implemented when developing tourism products to make sure it is sustainable, competitive and inclusive.

Besides reviving the tourism industry, he said the government will also enhance its conservation and preservation efforts on the environment, heritage and culture which was the state important tourism products.

“I call on all parties, including tourism industry players to jointly support the government’s efforts in ensuring that the DPN  2020-2030 can be implemented successfully,” Jafry urged.

The DPN) 2020-2030 was launched on December 23, by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin aims to ensure continuity of the country’s tourism industry as well as bring back Malaysia as the preferred tourism destination at the global level.

Muhyiddin said the policy would be  implemented through six main strategic thrusts, namely transformation of governance, creating an inclusive tourism investment zone and intensifying digitisation in the tourism sector.

“As such, digital technology-based tourism industry development is vital in ensuring that the objective of the policy could be achieved.

“Furthermore, technology advancement can also strengthen the network between industries and pave the way for new innovative sub-sectors in the tourism industry that will create business and employment opportunities. For this, technology-based tourism investment is very much encouraged,” he said.

The Prime Minister said through the DPN, Malaysia will create Special Tourism Investment Zones for tourism projects to boost public-private cooperation and to lure more local and international investors.

According to the Prime Minister, the country’s tourism industry contributed RM240.2 billion or 15.9 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) involving 3.6 million workers in 2019.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic had affected economic activities related to the tourism industry this year with an estimated total loss exceeding RM100 billion.-HS

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