MATTA urging for action against illegal foreign travel agents

Kuala Lumpur, 19 September 2019 – The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is calling on the Authorities to act against illegal tour businesses and the public to deal only with licensed travel agents.

MATTA Kuala Lumpur Chapter Chairman Rocky Kho said, “I was shocked upon seeing foreign companies selling tour products using an exhibition booth located in the middle of a wide passageway in a prominent shopping mall at Jalan Cheras last Saturday, 14 September 2019.”

“Unlike MATTA Fairs where foreign exhibitors are only involved in promotions and not in direct transactions, the foreign companies at the mall were collecting payments from customers, which is illegal.”

“Firstly, they are unlikely to be issued work permits and probably in the country on tourist visa. Secondly, only tour companies licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture are permitted to sell tour packages and travel arrangements directly to customers at licensed premises only. They are not allowed to set up shop or booth anywhere they want without a license.”

“Anyone selling tour packages and travel arrangements using a table, kiosk, booth or a shop corner is likely to operate an illegal tour business. Large and reputable mall operators should be fully aware of this and not allow unlicensed tour business to operate within their premises.”

“Also, many travellers have often been fooled by cheap tours and bargains promised by individuals they know or introduced to them. Many people were cheated because they were overly confident in websites and social media until they discover they cheated.”

“Many businesses are operating illegally in this country, including online. Action must be taken against such unlicensed operator businesses. Not only they do not pay local taxes, they have taken a lot of money out of this country.”

“Consumers unwilling to pay a reasonable price for services and always looking for cheap bargains are easily enticed. In the event they are short-changed, dissatisfied or not getting any service at all, they will have no recourse.”

“On the other hand, licensed tour operators such as members of MATTA will ensure that customers receive excellent service as they cannot afford the authorities to take action against them. And because of the sheer volume of business transacted, customers are getting the most competitive prices in the market from reputable tour operators”, concluded Kho.