The arrival of international tourists in the country in the first half of 2020 showed a marked decrease of 68.2% compared to year 2019.
Menteri Besar Dato’ Saarani Mohamad stated that the tourists’ expenditure for the first half of 2020 recorded RM12.5 billion, showing a decrease of 69.8% compared to RM41.6 billion in 2019.
“Both statistics are sufficient to illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tourism sector in our country following the closing of borders.
“As a result, many businesses in the related industries are affected, such as accommodation, transport, retail, food and beverage, arts and culture and organisation of commercial events.
“Even though Perak is presently in the recovery phase, the state government and industry players need to be more creative and innovative in order to recover the tourism sector,” he stated in his speech at the prize-giving ceremony of the Digital Storytelling Pop Travels: Cer Cerita competition at Casuarina@Meru Hotel recently.
Suhaimi Ipat received RM2000 cash after winning first place with a video titled “Magical Kingdom”. Second place winner Muhammad Ali Yassin received RM1,500 cash for his video titled “Temengor Geotrail”. Third place winner Yazid Yahya received RM1,000 cash for the video, “Kuala Kangsar – Bandar DiRaja”.
Meanwhile, the main prize category was won by tourist guide, Roselyn with her video titled, “Ho Ho Bus Today: Every Stop Tells A Story”. She brought home RM3,000 cash.
The competition was organised by Tourism Perak in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia, Perak State Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) Committee and Perak Tourist Guides Association.
A total of 88 tourist guides registered under the Perak Tourist Guides Association participated in the two-month training programme. They were divided into eight groups with each group consisting of 10 to 11 members. The eight groups worked hand in hand to create the video for the competition.
Executive Councillor for Housing, Local Government and Tourism, Dato’ Nolee Ashilin Mohamed Radzi highlighted that it was the first digital storytelling competition in the state with a combination of oral storytelling on the areas, local figures, history, heritage, arts and culture of the state.
“Such competition could maximise the use of digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, WeChat and Weibo, indirectly promoting the tourism products virtually,” she added.