Kuala Lumpur, 3 January 2020 – As part of its ongoing campaign in promoting Visit Malaysia 2020, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has printed stickers to be displayed on tour buses, excursion vans and travel offices nationwide.
The official launching of the stickers was held at the Mini Auditorium of the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC) at Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur and was officiated by YB Datuk Mohamaddin Bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.
Stickers on tour buses will be spotted by many tourists making them feel more welcome. It is also a daily reminder to tourism industry players that we have promised to showcase the best our country can offer, and it is now time to deliver and ensure tourists get to enjoy the best experiences possible.
Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has recently told Malaysians that it is our national mission to make Visit Malaysia 2020 a great success. The stickers would also remind Malaysians to explore all parts of our country, as what many foreigners have done and will continue to do.
Printing, distributing and displaying the stickers is one of the many initiatives that MATTA has done to promote our country’s tourism, which includes participation in global trade shows such as ITB Berlin and WTM London. Strategic collaborations with international tourism organisations such as the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations or ECTAA, which represents the national associations of 27 EU Member States is also a priority.
MATTA has engaged in many activities ranging from travel fairs, official meetings with various stakeholders of the industry, conferences and sales missions to new and high potential markets.
They include but are not limited to ASEAN countries, India, China, and European nations especially from the Balkans, Poland and Hungary whose residents constitute the new, growing wave of European travellers.
In Southeast Asia MATTA organised the MATTA Travel Exchange (MTEX) and together with the Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) brought more than 100 travel and tour operators from 10-member countries to participate.
The popular MATTA Fairs held nationwide attract more than 200 thousand visitors yearly generating more than RM400 million in sales of which RM80 million alone is generated from domestic sales.
Since the last Visit Malaysia Year in 2014, MATTA had repeatedly called on the government to offer visa-free entry for China and India tourists or grant them free visas. China and India tourists were exempted from applying for a normal visa since 2016 if they register under the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI) system and may stay up to 15 days.
Although they are not charged for a visa, they are required to pay for registration. We ought to grant them normal visa-free entry by just handing over their passports, as accorded to nationals of 165 other countries. If not, they should not be charged for registration to make such visas totally free-of-charge. Otherwise, it will continue to be a hindrance as these potential tourists could easily opt for other countries without such requirement.
As of today, 3,628 travel and tour companies are MATTA members and 96% are licensed for Inbound Tour Operations, permitting them to sell and secure reservations in advance before foreign tourists enter the country, organise and provide domestic tour services nationwide, and involve in operating tour buses, excursion vans and car rental service by securing the permits and investing in tourism vehicles. And it is the role of innovative travel agents to include all the interesting elements and services into attractive and affordable tour packages.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG
Term 2019 – 2021