Executive council members of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) have announced plans for 2018, which include the purchase of a pavilion at ITB Berlin, a first for the association, and roadshows to nordic markets in the first half of the year.
MATTA president KL Tan said: “We just opened for (the ITB) registration. We expect 25 members to join us as well as 15 hoteliers and product owners.”
Following the ITB Berlin travel trade show, MATTA will be organising a roadshow to Sweden, Denmark and Finland from March 12-15.
In addition, MATTA will more aggressively organise B2B roadshows in New Delhi (January), Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad (February), Chengdu, Chongqing, Jakarta and Surabaya (March), and Dhaka, Kolkata and Hyderabad (April).
Tan said there will be a focus on South Asia, China and Indonesia – key inbound markets for Malaysia. Arrivals from these markets comprised 21.5 per cent of total arrivals to Malaysia for the first five months.
MATTA, which only started organising its own roadshows this year, intends to work closely with Tourism Malaysia’s overseas offices and travel agents associations in the country it brings its events to.
In addition, MATTA has submitted its proposals to the government to be taken into consideration when Budget 2018 is tabled on October 27. Tan shared: “Our proposals include easing conditions to assist new and small companies, providing tax incentives to tour operators who handle more than 750 foreign tourists and 1,500 domestic tourists annually, and providing funding for capacity building in the travel sector including apprentice training to reskilling and upskilling of current practitioners.
“We also asked the government for incentives for online marketing and promotions to enable agents to compete more effectively with online travel agents. And to attract more high-end travellers, we have asked for a waiver of import duty for luxury tour vehicles and excise duty exemption to be extended to all classes of tourism vehicles.”