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The tour information occupation is among the oldest professions, having been round for 2 and a half thousand years.

Immediately, tour guides are one of many important parts of the tourism trade’s success.

However the Covid-19 pandemic modified all that.

Two years of dealing with numerous challenges as a result of Covid-19 pandemic is just not simple, not to mention for tour guides straight concerned within the tourism trade.

Amongst them is senior citizen Wong Hing Tuck, for whom the pandemic has introduced some new challenges, and he was unprepared.

Like the remainder, he needed to look for jobs to survive, and Wong ended up being a Seize driver.

The previous chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Tour Guide Association stated the trade had been affected since mid-February 2020 after the unfold of the epidemic in China. 

Following that, bookings for tour information companies have been cancelled on the final minute.

Starting in early March 2020, licensed unbiased tour guides underneath the affiliation not obtain any assignments following the implementation of MCO nationwide. 

Veteran tour information Wong Hing Tuck on Covid-19 inflicting tour guides to lose revenue. 

Wong added that earlier than Covid-19, a contract tour information may obtain something between 5 to seven assignments for a interval.

The estimated revenue may be something from RM4,000 to RM5,000 from these assignments. 

However Covid-19 put an finish to all that.

The restricted motion of individuals and the absence of vacationers as a result of Covid-19 pandemic pressured trade operators to downsize their operations.

Wong stated it’s not an exaggeration to say that the disruption of the pandemic has made everybody change their life routines. 

Tour guides, specifically, noticed their every day routine of welcoming vacationers change completely.

After many cancellations, particularly by Chinese language tour teams, native tour guides are out of labor.

Authorities’s Further Money Assist Inadequate

Any effort initiated by the federal government is admired.

Nonetheless, one-off help of some hundred ringgit, with a number of months in between, is undoubtedly not sufficient to help even the fundamental want of any household.

Nevertheless, is that this help enough to cowl the life that could be affected for a month, three months, six months, or a yr or could it proceed longer?

Additionally, tour guides have been burdened with points similar to:

  • Registered vacationer guides not within the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Tradition (MOTAC) database.
  • Knowledge not up to date.
  • Lack of pc literacy.
  • Licenses which have simply expired and licenses which can be within the technique of being renewed.
  • Licenses within the technique of appeals or settlement of compounds.
  • Different classes meant that many couldn’t qualify for help.

How can such a factor occur when tour guides are registered with MOTAC, and the ministry ought to have already got a listing of tour guides?

For the document, it’s not simple to turn out to be a registered vacationer information as a result of one should attend programs and move exams to move and get a license.

Worse nonetheless, some stated they by no means obtained the tour information’s one-off help regardless of being eligible.

The affected ones stated that they had contacted MOTAC many occasions, however there was no response.

When checked, their names are nonetheless not on the document.

Wong stated that underneath the Economic Stimulus Package introduced in March 2020 by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, a one-off fee of RM600 could be given to tour guides. 

In January 2021, then Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stated a one-off financial assistance of RM500 could be given to 14,000 tour guides within the nation.

Purposes have been prolonged till 15 March 2021 to make sure that eligible tour guides weren’t ignored.

After which, in October 2021, underneath the 2022 Budget Initiative for Licensed Tour Guides, every of them could be given monetary help of RM1,500, divided into two funds.

They’d obtain a money fee of RM750 monthly for 2 months (February and Could).

Nevertheless, tour guides whose licenses had expired earlier than or on 1 November 2021 and who didn’t submit a license renewal together with fee of the processing charge earlier than that date weren’t thought of.

The handouts are topic to phrases and circumstances, which may be unlucky for some tour guides. (Pix: Fuh.my)

This was adopted by one other RM500 one-off monetary help to licensed tour guides underneath the PEMERKASA+ 2021 Initiative in December 2021.

This monetary help is barely given on a one-off foundation for every particular person and isn’t given based mostly on the variety of license classes owned.

The help was to assist the tour guides resume their actions per the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

On the identical time, Inap Desa (Homestay) operators obtained as a lot as RM1,800, whereas Spa and Foot Therapeutic massage Centre (PUK) obtained as a lot as RM3,000.

A fee of RM9,000 was additionally given to Tour Information Firms, Journey Companies and Vacationers (TOBTAB), and firms concerned in Malaysia My Second Dwelling (MM2H) program.

Is Tour Information A Good Profession?

Wong, who has been a vacationer information for greater than 30 years, stated that a lot of the tour guides underneath the affiliation are unbiased tour guides with revenue based mostly on the assignments they obtain. 

The remaining work underneath journey businesses with salaries paid usually by their employers each month. 

Wong hopes that each state authorities will discover an strategy to assist ease the monetary burden of affected tour guides.

Taking the instance of the strategy taken by Penang, Kedah, Johor and Sabah, Wong needs the respective state governments to supply particular help for tour guides. 

Steps that may assure the survival of tour guides have to be mentioned collectively between policymakers and people concerned in associated sectors. The significance of tour guides to the trade can’t be denied. Due to this fact, consideration and consideration to this group is important and also needs to be given precedence.

Veteran tour information Wong Hing Tuck on tour guides being among the many main gamers in planning the event of the tourism trade through the years.

For instance, the Johor State Authorities introduced in Could 2020 a particular incentive underneath its Economic Stimulus Package 2020 for the tourism sector.

It was introduced by Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Chairman of the Tourism, Youth and Sports activities Committee.

Johor distributed RM1,000 to 936 registered tour guides residing within the state of Johor, totalling RM936,000.

Tourism Is The Breadwinner For Many

In Malaysia, the tourism trade contributed 3.5 million job alternatives in 2018, 23.5 per cent of the overall workforce. Of those, there was a drastic enhance in tour guides.

In 1972 it was reported that there have been solely 567 tour guides. Nevertheless, this quantity elevated yearly till reaching 15,363 in 2018.

In Taman Negara, some 170 nature tour guides lived in a troublesome scenario after they misplaced their supply of revenue as a result of lack of vacationers.

Chairman of the Pahang Nationwide Park Nature Tour Guides Affiliation, Mohamad Anas Zainudin, stated that the scenario has been taking place since December 2019.

The arrival of vacationers decreased and worsened when the Movement Control Order (MCO) began on 18 March.

The supply of revenue for all members comes from the arrival of vacationers. They rely fully on the assignments given by journey brokers and the resort and Mount Tahan climbing actions. They have been caught in a really dire scenario.

Chairman of the Pahang Nationwide Park Nature Tour Guides Affiliation, Mohamad Anas Zainudin, on issues and challenges that adversely have an effect on the tour guides.

A tour information taking guests on a river cruise at Taman Negara in Pahang. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Often, the height season is from June to September due to the college holidays in Malaysia and the vacationer season in Europe. 

Nevertheless it didn’t occur for an additional two years as a result of Covid-19 epidemic that has hit the entire world.

Many catch fish every single day to feed their household, he stated.

Accordingly, he appealed to the federal government to channel support to tour guides who assist the nation promote the tourism trade to vacationers coming from inside and out of doors the nation.

In the meantime, Raja Sharil Nasir, a full-time freelance tour information in Taman Negara, stated he had misplaced his revenue because the unfold of Covid-19, adopted by the MCO.

He relies upon fully on his revenue as a full-time freelance tour information. If there isn’t any process, then there isn’t any revenue. 

There have been no job provides for the longest time, and issues solely began to slowly enhance after the Covid-19 journey restriction has lifted.

Raja Shahril, who has greater than 10 years of expertise as a tour information, stated it could take some time for issues to return to regular even after the pandemic had ended.

On the identical time, he expressed due to the Pahang state authorities.

I’m grateful to the state authorities and the Menteri Besar of Pahang, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, for contemplating the plight of tour guides and tour boat operators who’ve been affected by the unfold of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Taman Negara toour information Raja Sharil Nasir expressing gratitude to the state authorities.

In January 2021, the Pahang authorities, by Tourism Pahang, allotted RM270,000 to assist tour guides and tour boat operators.

This donation’s whole of 450 recipients consists of 254 tour guides and 196 boat operators.

State Exco for Tourism, Culture, Environment, Plantation and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin, stated the help amounted to RM600,000 by the tip of 2021.

In keeping with him, the donation recipients concerned the Nationwide Park Nature Vacationer Information Affiliation, the Pahang State Vacationer Information Affiliation, the Nationwide Park Boat Operators Affiliation, and the Tioman Island Vacationer Boat Affiliation.

Alternatives For Tour Guides Publish Pandemic

After two years of shedding their supply of revenue, the federal government’s announcement of reopening the country’s borders on 1 April 2022 introduced hope.

The federal government determined to open the borders as Malaysia entered the transition section to endemic.

It made the vacationer guides shed tears of gratitude, stated Jane Rai, a tour information based mostly in Kuala Lumpur.

We waited two years for the border to lastly open. There’s nonetheless hope for us to seek out sustenance.

KL tour information Jane Rai on beginning anew after the lockdown is over.

Jane stated the final time she obtained a visit was to carry vacationers from Europe in March 2020, earlier than the nation introduced motion restrictions following the unfold of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Since then, she has misplaced her supply of revenue till just lately.

Jane stated, regardless of the nation’s two years underneath MCO, tour guides are nonetheless required to resume their licenses with MOTAC. 

If not, they are going to be fined.

Tour information Jayne Rai (left) giving a heritage discuss at Petaling Avenue. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Each time they renew their license, they need to present a tough estimate of RM700 for 2 years.

She stated it’s a burden as many tour guides haven’t any supply of revenue apart from a ‘one-off’ help from the ministry.

She added that tour guides wouldn’t need to renew their license after they can’t even work.

Jane then questioned the ministry’s supervisory license renewal system, which she described as inconvenient for tour guides affected by the pandemic.

In June 2022, the federal government agreed to extend the implementation period of license renewal fee exemptions.

The extension, which additionally applies to extra licenses, is for tour operators and tour guides who use for license renewal till 31 December 2022, involving 3,419 tourism operator firms amounting to RM5.676 million.

MOTAC stated the choice was based mostly on the federal government’s concern for tour operators and tour guides nonetheless affected by the affect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative is a part of the help help from the federal government to assist enterprise continuity and assist firms to get again up and proceed their enterprise post-pandemic.

With the extension, MOTAC hopes that certified tour operators and tour guides take this chance to benefit from the exemption.

Why Good Tour Guides Are Vital

The tour information has a number of main roles to play:

The instrumental position consists of offering path, entry, safety and security,
organizing, managing and controlling the group, and having the suitable to decide on what shall be proven and what won’t be proven.

Secondly, tour guides play an interactional position, together with managing relationships between locals and vacationers.

They partake in several cultures that result in understanding the native tradition and
experiencing the every day lifetime of the host group.

From a social standpoint, tour guides keep cohesion throughout the group and supply leisure and humour whereas making certain the tour stays orderly.

From a communicative perspective, tour guides present info,
data and interpretation about completely different websites and details about the vacation spot.


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