Kuala Lumpur 30 October 2021: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) feels that the National Budget 2022 could have been better to help rehabilitate the tourism industry on a fast track; although several proposals in the budget are good.  MATTA had submitted several detailed proposals and was hoping for a more ‘generous’ budget to help a badly injured industry since March 2020.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang says, “We welcome the targeted assistance to protect the tourism industry staff force through the extension of the wage subsidy program while waiting for gradual opening of border for international tourists. Apart for this, the rest of the budget initiatives fall short of the expectations to rehabilitate and stimulate domestic travel”

Tan added that the Personal Tax relief of RM1,000 for domestic travel extended to year 2022 does not create significant impact as the tax savings is only RM210 if  a taxpayer is under the 21 per cent tax bracket group. MATTA had earlier requested for individual tax relief of RM8000. There were no tax incentives for local companies carrying out incentives’ trips or holidays for their staff within the country to boost domestic travel. However, we do look forward on the incentive fund of RM 60 million to encourage domestic travel.

“On the RM600 million tourism fund under the Penjana Tourism Financing and BPMB Rehabilitation scheme, there  must be flexibility in the terms and conditions for the Fund, and nominal interest rate must be offered  is to  enable hard pressed tourism SMEs to access the funds”.

Tan also said that the setting up new Business Travelers Centre in Johor will help improve the business travel segment due to its proximity to Singapore. Singapore has always been a main contributor of foreign tourists’ arrivals to Malaysia and it makes good commercial sense to have such a Centre in Johor.  Another   good move is efforts for the preservation of the environment in the country, as our country is known to be nature-based destination for international tourists.

The Malaysia Digital Nomad program is also welcomed as it creates an ecosystem of digital nomads in the country by using tourism sector as its catalyst; and therefore, resulting in a potential new market for tourism players.
“We urge the Government to always review and reassess the support to fasten the recovery of the  tourism industry as we move into the endemic phase and into 2022 as the situation can change over time to harness the huge potential of the tourism industry  to the country”s economy”, concluded Tan.

President MATTA
Term 2019 – 2021