Kuala Lumpur, 15 March 2021 – The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has received word from the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia that SOPs for the operation of domestic cruises are being actively discussed with the National Security Council (MKN Majlis Keselamatan Negara).

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said, “MATTA has been working very closely with industry partners like Costa Crociere SPA, Singapore office, and the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to kickstart domestic cruises as a way to help revive the ailing tourism sector.”

Similar cruise products have already been launched in different countries like Singapore and have been successful in providing much needed stimulus to the local economy. Domestic cruises in the United Kingdom will also resume beginning May 17.

“MATTA has long recognized the immense potential of the cruise industry which benefits not only travel agencies but also hotels, the aviation sector, theme parks, attractions, retail and many other tourism-related industries.”

“A single ship, like the Costa Venezia, with a capacity of 5,000 passengers can generate revenue of up to RM 60 million. In addition to that, domestic cruises especially during these trying times, have the potential to generate thousands of jobs almost immediately especially in port cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi and Melaka.”, he added.

MATTA Honorary Secretary General Nigel Wong said, “We have been engaging the relevant ministries for years not just on the implementation of domestic cruises as a quick-win solution during these trying times but more importantly the benefits of having Malaysia recognized as a home-port destination.”

“We already have the necessary infrastructure and manpower in place to service this emerging and very profitable sector – the long-term benefits of having home-port status are immense especially since Malaysia is recognized worldwide as a very modern, and progressive Muslim-friendly destination.”

“Tourists from all over the globe will fly into Malaysia to embark on their cruise holiday and, in the process, will very likely extend their stay in Malaysia. Needless to say, one can only imagine the untapped potential we have at our fingertips.”

“We would like to commend both the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Transportation in their efforts to open up this industry – MATTA will continue to spearhead this effort and work closely with all relevant ministries to make this dream a reality.”, Nigel concluded.

Honorary Secretary General MATTA
Term 2019 – 2021