MATTA Clarifies Bernama Report on Tourism Cooperation with N Korea

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 2: All 3,100 members of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) are registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

Its president, Datuk Hamzah Rahmat said this comprises 80 per cent of all travel and tour companies registered with the ministry,” he said in a statement today to clarify a Bernama report yesterday on MATTA’s interest to cooperate with the North Korean tourism industry.

“Thus, the report which stated that 80 per cent of MATTA members are registered with the ministry is incorrect,” he added.

Bernama yesterday reported that MATTA is not interested in cooperation with North Korea’s tourism industry as it requires the involvement of a ‘middleman’ from a third country.

Hamzah said Malaysians who visited North Korea were not businessmen but individuals with their own special interest.

“But in the light of what happened at klia2, it would be prudent to heed the advice of Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz for Malaysians to stay away from North Korea for the time being.”

According to Hamzah, such travel advisory would apply to any destination where the security of Malaysian citizens could not be assured.

“It is the fiduciary duty of all travel agents to place the safety of travellers above all else,” he added.