LAHAD DATU: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has approved more than RM32 million allocation this year for the development and upgrading of tourism facilities in the country.

Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri said it was in line with her ministry's efforts to expand the special tourism investment zone in each state which would attract more tourist arrivals to Malaysia.

"We want to ensure that all tourism facilities are in place and we also want to upgrade existing tourist spots and handicraft centres to lure more visitors," she said after launching the MOTAC-and-Community programme here today.

Nancy said MOTAC also needed the cooperation of other ministries to ensure the upgrading of basic infrastructure such as access roads to tourist destinations can be implemented to provide comfort to visiting tourists.

She said local investors in each state were also encouraged to be directly involved in tourism and her ministry would discuss with the government so that the investors could also enjoy some benefits such as tax relief.

Meanwhile, she said MOTAC approved an allocation of RM2.2 million to 217 cultural non-governmental organisations in the country last year to revive the arts, culture and heritage industry.

Of the total, she said RM582,500 was given as a one-off administrative aid to 187 active associations affected by COVID-19.