The tour information occupation is without doubt one of the oldest professions, having been round for 2 and a half thousand years.

At the moment, tour guides are one of many important components of the tourism trade’s success.

However the Covid-19 pandemic modified all that.

Two years of dealing with varied challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t straightforward, 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 remaining, 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 providers had been cancelled on the final minute.

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

The estimated revenue will 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 because of the Covid-19 pandemic compelled trade operators to downsize their operations.

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

Tour guides, specifically, noticed their day by day routine of welcoming vacationers change totally.

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

Authorities’s Further Money Help 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 assist even the fundamental want of any household.

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

Additionally, tour guides had been burdened with points corresponding 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 file, it isn’t straightforward to grow 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 file.

Wong stated that underneath the Economic Stimulus Package introduced in March 2020 by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, a one-off cost 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.

Functions had been prolonged till 15 March 2021 to make sure that eligible tour guides weren’t neglected.

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 cost of RM750 per thirty days for 2 months (February and Might).

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

The handouts are topic to phrases and situations, which will be unlucky for some tour guides. (Pix:

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 similar 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 cost of RM9,000 was additionally given to Tour Information Corporations, Journey Companies and Vacationers (TOBTAB), and firms concerned in Malaysia My Second Residence (MM2H) program.

Is Tour Information A Good Profession?

Wong, who has been a vacationer information for greater than 30 years, stated that many 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 recurrently by their employers each month.

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

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

Steps that may assure the survival of tour guides must 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 Might 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 entire workforce. Of those, there was a drastic enhance in tour guides.

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

In Taman Negara, some 170 nature tour guides lived in a tough state of affairs after they misplaced their supply of revenue because of the lack of vacationers.

Chairman of the Pahang Nationwide Park Nature Tour Guides Affiliation, Mohamad Anas Zainudin, stated that the state of affairs has been occurring 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 solely on the assignments given by journey brokers and the resort and Mount Tahan climbing actions. They had been caught in a really dire state of affairs.

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 varsity holidays in Malaysia and the vacationer season in Europe.

But it surely didn’t occur for one more two years because of the Covid-19 epidemic that has hit the entire world.

Many catch fish day-after-day to feed their household, he stated.

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

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

He relies upon solely on his revenue as a full-time freelance tour information. If there is no such thing as a activity, then there is no such thing as a revenue.

There have been no job affords 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 will take some time for issues to return to regular even after the pandemic had ended.

On the similar 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 means of Tourism Pahang, allotted RM270,000 to assist tour guides and tour boat operators.

This donation’s complete 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 top of 2021.

In response to 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 Put up Pandemic

After two years of dropping 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 part 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 may be 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 convey 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 not too long ago.

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 speak 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 don’t have any supply of revenue aside 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 assist 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 function consists of offering path, entry, safety and security,
organizing, managing and controlling the group, and having the suitable to decide on what can be proven and what is not going to be proven.

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

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

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

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