Wednesday June 29, 2011
Major tourism industry players fear major impact if rally is held, says Ng
KUALA LUMPUR: The tourism industry could lose up to RM1bil if the Opposition-initiated Bersih 2.0 rally goes on as planned, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said.
The industry, she said, was “sensitive” to changes.
Noting that last year's tourist expenditure was about RM1bil per week, she said: “Last year, the number of tourist arrivals in July alone was 2.2 million and tourist expenditure was RM6bil. If we lose 20% of that, we would lose RM1.2bil.”
Dr Ng said this to reporters yesterday at the Malaysia Tourism Centre in Jalan Ampang after a briefing by major tourism industry players about foreign workers and the impact of the July 9 rally on tourism.
Dr Ng said there had been all-round support from associations in the industry that the rally should not go on.
“The rally will impact our tourism industry, especially since July is the peak season for Middle Eastern tourists to come.”
She accused Bersih 2.0 of wanting to impede the progress made by the Government.
“They have a strong agenda to destroy the Government and disrupt the country's economy as Barisan Nasional is very strong now. They do not want to see us prosper,” she said.
Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association president Paul Paw, who was also at the press conference, said he would meet with two representatives from China National Tourist Office, who were coming here to assess the situation after receiving word of the rally.
“They are coming here to discuss the venue of a conference that will bring over 100 travel agents from China on July 10.
“However, they are hesitant now as they are concerned about the demonstration,” he said, adding that his company would lose RM1mil if the agents did not come.
Association of Malaysian Spas vice-president Datin Ramona Suleiman said her spa business in Jalan Ampang would face losses for a few days if there was a demonstration in the area.
Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners executive director Shaharuddin M. Saaid said his organisation would consider taking legal action against Bersih 2.0 if its members incurred losses because of the rally.