Image credit: The Edge Markets

PETALING JAYA: The Tourism Recovery Plan 2022, offering attractive discounts, vouchers and rebates for Malaysians, seeks to restore confidence to travel, boost domestic tourism and maximise existing resources.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the initiative was a continuation of the Economic Stimulus Package 1.0 (PRE 1.0), and an initiative under the Tourism Industry Recovery Plan.

"The PRE 1.0 in 2021 had seen 26 collaborations involving voucher, discount, or rebate redemption programmes, including for selected niche products for the tourism sector's recovery.

"In total, 238,908 vouchers have been redeemed by Malaysians throughout the entire programme," she said at the launch of the Tourism Recovery Plan 2022 and the second version of the "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia" song.

Nancy said discounts, vouchers and rebates had been disbursed under the Tourism Recovery Plan 2022 since April 29 this year, involving the land transport cluster and the tourism association cluster.

This initiative, she added, would be expanded in stages to include the air transport cluster, accommodation cluster, as well as the special interests tourism cluster to include scuba diving, homestays, shopping, and theme park segments.

"Cooperation will also be established with airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly, Batik AIr, and also MASWings, specifically for the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

"In addition, this initiative will also be implemented with the support of industry players such as the Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents, Malaysian Hotel Association, Malaysian Hotel Owners Association, and Malaysian Budget and Business Hotel Association, among others."

Nancy said, under the land transport cluster, her ministry through Tourism Malaysia had established a strategic partnership with KLIA Ekspres and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).

Through KLIA Ekspres, 24,875 users can redeem a RM10 discount for a one-way ticket from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or klia2, or vice versa, starting April 29 until Nov 30.

Nancy said users can purchase tickets through the KLIA Ekspres mobile app, through their website, or over the counter, and would only need to present their identity card and domestic flight ticket at the ticketing counter.

On KTMB, 39,800 Malaysians can enjoy a discount of RM15 on train fares for every journey, as long as the value of the ticket is more than RM16 and is for interstate travel.

The first-come-first-serve booking can be made through the KTMB Mobile app, online, over the counter or ticketing machines starting April 29 to Nov 30.

Meanwhile, under the tourism association cluster, Nancy said Tourism Malaysia was once again collaborating with the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, Malaysian Inbound Chinese Association, Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association, Malaysian Indian Tour and Travel Association, and the Association of Bumiputera Tourism Operating Companies Malaysia, to offer domestic tourism packages through e-marketplace application Shopee.

"Malaysians can get discounts up to RM100 for a transaction of tour package worth RM200 and above from April 29 to Oct 31, 2022 for travel until Dec 31 this year.

"Each MyKad holder is eligible to redeem this discount only once and purchase must be paid using Shopee Pay.

"It is estimated that 14,925 users can enjoy this benefit with a tourism package sales value of RM2,985,000," she added.

Later, Nancy told reporters that tourist spending was "picking up quite fast", with the country having seen at least 500,000 international visitors so far this year.

She said, however, as some countries, including China and Japan, had yet to reopen borders, it hampers the increase in tourist spending, but added that local tourists were responding very well to domestic tourism.

"As I have said before, we target receiving two million visitors and RM8.6 billion in tourism receipts this year."