Ministry to form council to boost quality of tourism services


PENANG – The Tourism Ministry will set up a new national consultative council to boost quality of tourism services.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the National Tourism Consultative Council would be the platform to gather feedback, identify obstacles and find solutions to problems and issues in the tourism industry.

“The council will assemble representatives from all ministries, government agencies and non-governmental organisations, including environment-related organisations, as well as entrepreneurs,” she said.

The ministry, she added, also understood that the voices of the people through NGOs and the views of entrepreneurs had to be considered in making and changing policies.

“Involving these bodies will ensure that eco-tourism developments do not harm the beauty of our natural environment, which is an important asset to the country’s tourism industry,” she said yesterday after a dialogue session with local tourism players.

On the events already listed in the 2008 Penang Tourism Calendar, Azalina said the ministry would deliver the events as promised.

However, she added, the ministry would not support events that did not attract tourists or benefit the industry.

“We must have events that benefit the entire tourism industry, not just one place.

“For instance, if we have an event in Penang, the entire state tourism industry must reap from it, not just the area where it is held,” she said.

Asked about the RM40mil allotted by the Federal Government for Penang Hill under the Ninth Malaysian Plan, she said the ministry had to first review such things as the applications for the allocation and the contracts involved.

On the international dragon boat race, she said the organisers would have to look for sponsors as the ministry would not fully fund the event.