Extend loan moratorium, says MATTA

KUCHING: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has urged the government to extend the loan
moratorium for another, six months for the tourism industry.

According to a press statement issued yesterday, MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang pointed out that the tour and travel industry was the hardest hit by the recent outbreak.

"It will be an uphill task to retune the Industry if tourism companies wind up and tourism workers are being driven into bankruptcy by early 2021.

"Many tourism players have been deprived of income since March this year. Against a backdrop of recession and unemployment, being wholly dependent on domestic tourism will not be sufficient to sustain related businesses and individuals working in this industry.

"As many tourism businesses derive a large portion of their earnings from international tourists, how are they to survive if the borders stay closed?" asked Tan, adding that it was only appropriate that the government initiate and order an extension of the moratorium.

"Individual borrowers working in the hospitality and tourism industry should also be given an extension as many are
currently on pay cuts, unpaid leave or have been retrenched.

"The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) has estimated that the losses suffered by the tourism and culture industry amounted to some RM45 billion in tourism receipts and that about one million workers in the tourism industry in Malaysia are expected to lose their jobs this year" he said.

"MATTA is doubling its effort to push for packages with attractive rates to cater to the new travelling environment," Tan

He pointed out that the biggest challenge for travel agents in domestic tourism was that Malaysian travellers often opted to go on their own, not realising that a personalised travel experience tailored by travel agents often resulted in time savings, convenience and peace of mind.