To help stimulate and restart the tourism industry that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarawak State government has announced two initiatives, which are the Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) and the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund for all travel agents and tour operators in the state.
For the VIP package, local travel agencies will receive support for tour packages sold for a minimum of four pax and a maximum of 15 pax at any one time, excluding children below two years old.
The incentives have been categorised as follow:
1. The agent will get RM30 for each tourist, for the first four tourists and an additional RM20 for each subsequent tourist up to 15 pax who go for any of its 3D2N packages.
2. The agent will receive RM40 for each tourist, for the first four tourists and an additional RM25 for each subsequent tourist up to 15 pax who take any of its 4D3N packages.
3. The agent will receive RM50 for each tourist, for the first four tourists and an additional RM30 for each subsequent tourist up to 15 pax who go for any of its 5D4N packages.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund is a catalytic programme to expand Sarawak Tourism's Digital footprint and Share of Voice (SOV) in collaboration with industry partners.
For this incentive, Sarawak Tourism Board will allocate funding of up to RM5,000 per tour operator for website development and maintenance, content production and digital advertising which focusses on Sarawak Tourism.
In addition, digital roadshows will also be conducted in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Bakalalan and Bario.
According to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the government acknowledges the impact of the pandemic on tourism players and these initiatives have been crafted to provide support, push and accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector as well as enhance industry confidence and encourage marketing and promotions of their products and services.
It also aims to boost and motivate tourism partners to facilitate tourism activities and arrivals during this recovery phase.
"The Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund seeks to align all industry players, with its key objective being the enhancement of digital economy within the Tourism Sector," he said adding that it also aims at supporting and enhancing the use of e-commerce to drive more traffic within the ecosystem.
All Sarawak tour operators are invited to apply for the incentives which will be made available from July 1 to end of the year, in accordance to the criteria listed on a first come first serve basis.
Source: New Straits Times