Port Dickson returns to life with PENJANA incentives

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PORT DICKSON: Port Dickson, a world famous holiday destination, which experienced a bleak phase for more than two months with the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18, has now come alive with the presence of tourists.

The implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) since June 10 following the announcement of the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), has been fully utilised by members of the public who were longing for the beautiful beaches after more than two months being partially locked up at home.

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The combination of PENJANA which provides individual tax relief of up to RM1,000 for domestic tourism expenses until Dec 31, 2021, along with the permission for interstate travel throughout RMCO period, have encouraged the hotel industry players to offer up to 50 per cent discount on accommodation.

Nur Banglo Homestay and Nur Arowana Homestay operator Muhamad Ammar Farhan @ Brorey said as soon as the government announced the RMCO to replace the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ended June 9, he received encouraging booking requests from the public.

“Thus far I have received 10 bookings from customers from Selangor, Johor and Kuala Lumpur for my homestays,” he told Bernama here.

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However, Klana Beach Resort Port Dickson manager Che Dzaruddin Che Omar described the number of reservations was still low, but he believed it would increase once the government announced more relaxation on other activities involving swimming pools and gyms.

“Thus far, our customers are from Selangor and from around the state,” he said.

A visitor from Kuala Lumpur, Kevin Joo Kok Wai, 34, said he chose Port Dickson as his first holiday destination after the MCO as it was the closest and most accessible destination for him.

“I haven’t had any holiday for a long time and I will fully utilise the relaxation granted by the government well. However, we need to look after ourselves and adopt the new normal practices,” said Joo, from Kuala Lumpur.

The Port Dickson Municipal Council (MPPD) on Friday announced that beach stretches in the area to reopen beginning Saturday but subject to restrictions including limiting the number of picnickers in each group to 10 only.

Apart from that, only jogging, cycling, swimming are allowed as well as reopening of public facilities such as toilets and suraus.

Other activities including overnight camping on the beach, programmes such as family day and wedding reception as well as water and filming activities are still prohibited.

Muhyiddin, in announcing the PENJANA said, in efforts to help the tourism sector which was adversely affected by COVID-19, the government introduced tax incentives such as tourism tax exemption from July 1 to June 30, 2021 and exemption of service tax for hotels to be extended until June 30, 2021.

Apart from individual income tax relief of up to RM1,000 as mentioned earlier, the government has also extended the instalment of estimated tax for another three months from Oct 1 to Dec 31 this year.

In addition, the government has also provided RM1 billion to finance transformation initiatives by small and medium enterprises (SME) to help the tourism sector remain competitive in the new era.

— BERNAMA

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