MATTA Welcomes Appointment of New Tourism Malaysia Chairman

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 September 2016: Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) President Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat welcomes the appointment of Datuk Siew Ka Wei as the new chairman for Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board.

Hamzah said “We are pleased that Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had probably picked the best man to helm Tourism Malaysia. Datuk Siew’s communication and entrepreneur skills are much needed to provide the counterbalance, as a holistic approach is needed to overcome challenges.”

“For example, the Government is keen to introduce Tourism Service Fees at hotels and increasing Passenger Service Charge at airports. This will certainly boost government’s coffers in the near term but may be a net loss in the long run.”

“The loss of earnings from tourists turned away by new fees and higher charges is likely to surpass the amount collected from guests and passengers. As such, continuing to increase taxes is not sustainable. To stimulate growth, many countries are reducing taxes, as increase will stifle.”

“Traditionally, Tourism Malaysia maintains a large network of offices nationwide and globally. Such physical presence was needed but no longer so. Today, the office is as mobile as the smartphone, which can relay instant information and instructions, without having to waste time travelling and meet face-to-face.”

“As such, a lot of fat can be trimmed off from many organisations operating in the same manner decades ago. Funds saved from operating budget can be converted for development, and used for advertising and promotions to draw more visitors to our country. If Tourism Malaysia can do that, it will be a mean and lean organisation, and earn the salute of tourism industry players.”

“MATTA is ready to lend its full support to Datuk Siew to accomplish the tasks he had set out to do. The ultimate aim of our tourism industry is to grow the number of foreign visitors and domestic tourism, which will boost our economy and provide jobs to a large number of people”, concluded Hamzah.