MATTA expects more tourists from India

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with national travel associations from India.

They are Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) to boost tourism between Malaysia and India in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the association is ready to welcome foreign tourists, including from India for Visit Malaysia 2020.

This MoU is a winning collaboration for MATTA TAAI, TAFI and OTOAI, which augurs well for tourism in both countries, he said in a statement.

Tan said they will be introducing fresh itineraries and attractive tour packages to encourage more tourists from India to visit Malaysia, adding that India has traditionally been contributing to the tourism industry.

He disclosed that the number of tourists from India had been increasing from 552,739 in 2017, 600,311 in 2018 and 750,000 were expected in 2019, an increase of 23.2 per cent.

"This target is achievable as the Malaysian government had extended the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI) system, exempting tourists from India and China from applying for a visa for a visit up to 15 days.

"Due to intense promotions by Tourism Malaysia supported by MATTA, we trust that the growth is backed by the increase in air connectivity, development of new tourism products and the capacity to accommodate more tourists.

"MATTA will continue to support the government and Tourism Malaysia in developing India as a stronger tourist source market, and work with airlines to add new routes and increase flight frequencies for scheduled flights and explore the feasibility of charter flights to meet market demand," he said.

The MoU was signed by Tan, TAAI President Jyoti Mayal, TAFI Acting President Pradip Lulla and OTOAI General Secretary Shravan Bhalla. It was witnessed by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia Muhammad Bakthiar Bin Wan Chik and High Commissioner of Malaysia to the Republic of India, Dato' Hidayat Abdul Hamid.