KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 34,000 foreign workers have been approved to enter the tourism industry in order to tackle its labour shortage, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said their entry was requested by industry players through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac), and that the workers would come in between 2022 and 2024.

“Of the total number, 10,000 are allocated for housekeeping, 6,000 for spa workers, 6,000 for massage workers with the remaining 12,000 as caddies.

“At the same time, Motac will also organise job fairs later this year to encourage Malaysians to enter the industry due to its needs,” she said at a press conference after attending the 12th Malaysia Gift Fair networking night on Wednesday (June 22).

Nancy, however, noted that it was hard for her to give a specific date for these workers to arrive, as it lay under the purview of the Human Resource Ministry, adding that her Ministry would continue to push to facilitate the tourism industry’s needs.

In May, Nancy said Malaysia’s tourism sector was facing a shortage of about 15,000 to 20,000 workers with the estimate obtained from data from national tourism associations.

She also acknowledged that the problem of labour shortage was not only faced by the tourism sector, but also involved all other industries in the country.