The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) congratulates the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) Terengganu office and all involved stakeholders for the successful execution of Operasi Penguatkuasaan Bersepadu that held from May 24 to May 26, 2024 focused on key tourist locations throughout Terengganu.

The operation, led by the Director of MOTAC Terengganu, Puan Mazshida binti Ruslal, was a collaborative effort involving MOTAC's Licensing and Tourism Enforcement Division (BPPP), the Road Transport Department (JPJ), and the National Registration Department (JPN), with additional support from MOTAC offices in Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, and Pulau Pinang. Its primary aim was to curb the misuse of vehicles not licensed under the "Excursion Vehicles" category for organizing tours and excursions for profit without a valid Travel Agency License (TOBTAB).

Additionally, the operation emphasized the requirement for licensed tour guides to accompany all tour buses visiting tourist locations, in accordance with the Special Conditions of the Excursion Bus Permit and Regulation 6(1)(i)(iii) of the Tourism Industry Act 1992 [Act 482]. The operation also identified licensed TOBTAB companies utilizing unlicensed types of buses, such as school buses and corporate color school buses , for tour operations, which is a violation of Section 20 of the Tourism Industry Act 1992.

MATTA President, Nigel Wong, said, “The dedication and cooperative spirit demonstrated by MOTAC, JPJ, JPN, and all MOTAC offices involved is commendable. This strategic collaboration is a significant step towards ensuring that only licensed and compliant service providers operate within the tourism industry, thereby safeguarding the interests of tourists and maintaining the integrity of Malaysia's tourism sector.”

Wong added, “The association urges all travel agents and tour operators to adhere strictly to licensing regulations and to utilize only legally compliant vehicles and services. This not only ensures the safety and satisfaction of tourists but also promotes a fair and competitive business environment. We strongly urge government enforcement agencies to conduct similar operations in other major tourist destinations in Malaysia, including Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu, where this issue is particularly problematic. Furthermore, we call for harsher punishments for offenders to serve as a strong deterrent against non-compliance, rather than mere slaps on the wrist".

MATTA looks forward to continued collaboration with MOTAC and all relevant authorities to uphold the standards of Malaysia's tourism industry and to support the vision of Visit Malaysia 2026.