Kuala Lumpur 24 May 2021: The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) commends the government on its decision not to impose a total lockdown on the nation’s economic sector - striking a balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods is crucial in order for the nation to continue its journey of recovery.

“The tourism sector is still a long way off from recovery and will not fully begin the recovery process until borders, both domestic and international, are re-opened,” said Nigel Wong, Honorary Secretary General of MATTA.

“MATTA has been calling for the government to come up with a tourism recovery roadmap. No one can foretell the future but such a guideline will help the industry make strategic plans and preparations and align their recovery efforts to that of the government.”

“MATTA along with some of its key national and most influential partners such as the Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH) and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) will continue to work closely with and support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and its related agencies, and other government departments to re-imagine and re-empower the local tourism industry in preparation for the future.”

“As demonstrated successfully in many other countries around the world, domestic tourism plays a major role in sustaining the local tourism industry. The industry has already made significant preparations to ensure that Malaysians are able to safely recommence leisure domestic travel and for businesses to start organizing events and conferences once we come out of MCO 3.0,” he added.

Research by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia, shows that 239 million visitors traveled within the country in 2019, an increase of 8.1% compared to 2018. RM 103.2 billion was spent by domestic visitors with an annual growth rate of 11.5% (statistics for year 2020 has not been released yet).

“The domestic travel bubble like many similar initiatives around the world is simply a mechanism designed to enforce the necessary SOPs on travelers and tourism operators. Action must be taken on passengers or operators if found guilty of intentionally ignoring or violating the SOPs,” he said referring to the recent Genting incident.

“Ultimately the key to beating this pandemic lies with the Rakyat, each and every individual Malaysian – be responsible during this time and adhere to the SOPs – help make this MCO as short and painless as possible,” he concluded.

Honorary Secretary General
Term 2019 – 2021