MATTA: Need for govt-industry engagement in tourism recovery

PETALING JAYA: There must be serious engagement between the government and relevant industry players to find solutions post-Covid-19 pandemic, says the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

Its president Datuk Tan Kok Liang expressed confidence that Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukry would be able to help the struggling industry players.

“At the same time, the government must provide a clear plan for the next three years to reinvigorate the tourism industry that has been crippled by the virus, ” he added.

He also expressed concern that the recently launched National Tourism Policy (NTP) 2020, which was launched on Dec 23, did not directly address travel challenges under the new norm.

He said that a clear roadmap and framework for the industry was needed for the tourism industry post-Covid-19.

“Domestic travel was also not mentioned in the NTP, which is crucial for tourism recovery.

“There was no formal and exhaustive consultation with key industry leaders like MATTA in the creation of the NTP, ” he added.

He also called for urgent update of the Tourism Industy Act 1992 following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“MATTA, with its vast network as a member of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA), World Tourism Alliance (WTA), Asean Tourism Association (Aseanta) and Federation of Asean Travel Associations (Fata), is ever ready to assist the government’s tourism recovery efforts and advise on structural changes needed both in the public and private sector.

“But the impetus of change lies in the hands of the government, ” Tan said.