Tourism industry likely to lose US$120 million due to Covid-19 outbreak

KUALA LUMPUR (Sin Chew Daily / ANN) - The honorary advisor of Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association Paul Paw Ngee Soon estimates the tourism industry in Malaysia likely to lose up to US$120 million due to Covid-19 outbreak. 

The Covid-19 outbreak is believed to have caused the tourism industry to lose RM520 million (US$124 million) in revenue, says Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association honorary advisor Paul Paw Ngee Soon. 

He said the association announced earlier that the business revenue for Asia tours dropped by RM270 million (US$64.74 million). As more countries were affected by the outbreak, luxury tour groups from Europe and cruise also suffered losses in revenue. The loss is estimated to have increased by another RM250 million (US$59.95 million). 

It is tough time for travel agencies as they are being requested by clients for refund, he said.

“We receive notifications from airline companies about cancelling of flights and negative news about the outbreak. Clients do not understand our situation,’’ he said. 

Many travel agencies have resorted to cut down expenses during this difficult period, he said in a press conference. 

Paw also described the stimulus package introduced by the government a drop of water in the ocean. 

He also urged airline companies to be transparent in refund of airfares and to offer detailed information on cancellation of flights so that the travel agencies are able to inform their clients. 

Currently, the agencies only have information about cancellation of flights till end of March. 

Many tour operators are unable to proceed with flight bookings for April, he said.