Tourism Ministry ready to amend criteria for GAMELAN fund application

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LANGKAWI (Aug 15): The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) is prepared to amend the application requirements for the Galakan Melancong Malaysia (GAMELAN) special fund to help revive the country’s tourism industry.

Its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said this followed requests from tourism industry players as many did not meet the requirements to apply for the fund.

“They can see how the GAMELAN special fund could assist them, but their tourism activities do not meet the criteria. God-willing, we will look into this and maybe we will try to amend accordingly based on the industry player’s needs,” she said.

Nancy was speaking in a press conference after attending an engagement session with tourism, arts and culture industry players in Kedah and Perlis here, today.

Also present were the Kedah Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports, and Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, and MOTAC secretary-general Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat.

For the record, the GAMELAN special fund aims to assist the private sectors involved in tourism activities to strengthen their promotional and marketing efforts towards increasing international tourist arrivals in Malaysia, besides boosting domestic tourism.

Commenting on the engagement session, Nancy said the programme was held to listen to the demands, problems, challenges and limitations facing the industry players during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

She said the ministry estimated that cultural and arts activities suffered a loss of RM85.06 million as many programmes had to be cancelled or postponed.

“From the total, 22,000 activists and industry players lost RM47 million, RM33 million in ticket collection of theatre productions by Istana Budaya and RM5.06 million in sales by museums, galleries and others.

“Looking at the impact of Covid-19, it was crucial for the industry players to consolidate and cooperate to help revive the economy of the tourism sector,” she said.