Monday, June 06, 2011

One-stop tourism centre required in Sarawak

KUCHING: A one-stop tourism centre should be established — one that will receive the private sector’s complaints and recommendations, and also improve inter-agency coordination, says a sub-regional tourism group.

Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-The Philippines, East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) Tourism Council chairman Datuk Wee Hong Seng said leniency should be extended to operators of unlicensed budget accommodation for the time being.

“But in the long run, tourists’ safety and confidence in us must be the priority.

“The tourism council appeals to the relevant authorities to set a time frame for people to obtain all the necessary papers.

“What is more important is to streamline the procedure and to have a clear set of do’s and dont’s,” Wee said here yesterday.

“Now is not the time to go out and carry out enforcement just because the matter is out in the open. A win-win solution must be found so that people who have invested a lot of money are not affected and discouraged.”

The Star yesterday reported on problematic procedures for budget hotels to obtain approvals and licences. Industry sources claimed red tape had stunted the sector’s growth.

There are at least 30 unlicensed budget accommodation operators in Kuching who are already in business. Because of high investment, they claimed they could not afford to wait years for their applications to be finalised.

Continue reading at: One-stop tourism centre required in Sarawak

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