KUALA LUMPUR, 18 March 2023 – The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) organized a symposium that saw industry professionals from both the public and private sector discussing current and future post-pandemic trends emerging within the tourism and travel space.

The keynote address was delivered by YB Tuan Hee Loy Sian, Selangor State Executive Councillor for Tourism, Environment, Geren Technology and Orang Asli Affairs.

Panel speakers included Dato’ Hj Zainuddin (Director General of Tourism Malaysia), Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi (CEO Airlines Business, Malaysia Aviation Group), Ajay Prakash (President of the Travel Agents Federation of India, TAFI) and Hannah Pearson (Founder of Pear Anderson). Moderating the panel was Phillip See, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Malaysia Aviation Group.

To contextualize the panel discussion, MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the following:

“UOB Global Economics and Markets Research projects 4% GDP growth for Malaysia in 2023, and they predict the country's tourism industry would play a big part in that. The research team said that with China's reopening of its borders this year, the global tourism industry should see a significant increase in activity.”

“Positive trends in visitor numbers to numerous ASEAN countries post-pandemic bodes well for the region's tourism industry in 2023. Countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia stand to benefit the most from the predicted rise in tourism to the region.”

“In addition, ASEAN countries are already taking moves to strengthen intra-regional mobility and restrictions placed on travel are also expected to loosen. Eventually, this may help the industry as a whole. Moreover, the area is home to some of the world's most alluring locations, and rising accessibility to low-cost modes of transportation bodes well for a boom in tourism in the years ahead.”

“The development of digital technology and the opening of new markets have the potential to further disrupt the ASEAN travel sector, making way for ever more creative and individualised vacation experiences. A greater number of tourists means more potential customers for local shops and restaurants – this is the main strength of tourism; its lead-on effects on the greater economy of a country or region.”

“Looking at the very dynamic seascape of tourism for 2023 and beyond, we need to take immediate steps to position ourselves to take advantage of the many new opportunities that will emerge.”

“After hearing what our panellists have to say today, I am confident that there are some key points that you will be able to put into practise within your organisation.”

“As for MATTA, we have just recently embarked on a mission to secure collaborative partnerships with our European counterparts, particularly with nations such as Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, and Finland.”

“These collaborative partnerships will accelerate our organizations’ members’ journey towards recovery. We will be working closely to actively cross-promote tourism between our countries to achieve meaningful short and long-term results.”

“MATTA is also looking to raise the standard of tourism through the sharing of information and exchange of knowledge with our counterparts. To promote the adoption of industry best-practice standards and sustainable tourism.”

“In addition, we have just yesterday, renewed our memorandum of understanding with two of our key Indonesian counterparts; ASTINDO and ASITA. This is to show that we are not neglecting our close neighbours and that Indonesia is still the primary source of tourist arrivals for Malaysia.”

“The ongoing MATTA Fair is a strong indication that our industry is adapting to post-pandemic tourism trends and purchasing habits. I am confident that MATTA’s efforts will help our Members secure a strong and competitive position in this new era of tourism.”

President MATTA
Term 2021 - 2023