KUALA LUMPUR, 10 March 2017: Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) President Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat is elated over the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) and the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) on March 9 in Berlin, Germany.
The MOU was signed by Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia and Mr. Michel De Blust, ECTAA Secretary General. It was witnessed by Dato’ Sri Nazri Abdul Aziz, Tourism and Culture Minister and Malaysian Ambassador to Germany Dato' Zulkifli Adnan.
MATTA President Datuk Hj Hamzah was also present. He said “It was déjà vu attending another MOU signing ceremony with ECTAA. It was exactly one year ago, on 9 March 2016, that MATTA and ECTAA signed a MOU to foster international cooperation. MATTA is the national travel association in Malaysia representing 80 percent of all travel agents in the country, and Tourism Malaysia is the National Tourism Organisation (NTO) promoting the interests of all tourism players in Malaysia.”
“Such collaborations and commitments between Malaysia and European travel agents are necessary to boost European tourists to South East Asia, particularly Malaysia. Last year, visitors from 13 European countries, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Norway and Belgium combined dropped to 955,836 from1,038,542 in 2015.”
“As agreed in the MOU, Malaysia will be identified by ECTAA as the ‘Preferred Destination of the Year’ for the entire calendar year of 2018, and publicised in all of ECTAA’s communications to its members and the public. Malaysian tourism industry players would have the opportunity to engage with large number of Europeans agents when several ECTAA meetings, including the General Assembly, are held in Malaysia in 2018.”
“MATTA’s contribution in initiating the collaboration with ECTAA was acknowledged and included in the framework of cooperation in the MOU between ECTAA and Tourism Malaysia. As such, MATTA members handling the European market can look forward to a brighter future from this long haul high yield market. ECTAA currently has 32 national associations of travel agents and tour operators associations in 30 European countries, as well as three international members.”
“MATTA is also actively collaborating with other international markets, such as organising sales missions to several countries, including China and India, and also in the region, with 2017 as Visit ASEAN Year. The Visit ASEAN@50 campaign is in conjunction with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary. We have all the reasons to work hard and keep ourselves happily busy over the next few years”, concluded Hamzah.
DATUK HJ HAMZAH RAHMAT DPSM KMN
Term 2015- 2017