KUALA LUMPUR, 3 July 2018: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes the announcement of the full Cabinet today that included a Minister and Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang says, “We are glad the new Government recognised the importance of tourism in generating foreign exchange, creating jobs and stimulating the economy. Last year, 25.95 million foreign visitors spent RM82.1 billion in Malaysia and domestic visitors spent another RM83.1 billion within the country.”
“MATTA wishes to extend our heartiest congratulations to YB Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Silam in Sabah, for being appointed Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, and to YB Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, MP for Balik Pulau in Penang, as Deputy Minister.”
“Our association is ready and eager to work closely with our new Minister to achieve tourism targets, modernise outdated laws, introduce incentives to spur the industry and step up enforcements against illegal and unlicensed operators.”
“These fundamentals are necessary to promote a healthier tourism industry. To attract more visitors, the Ministry must step up on digital marketing, collaborate actively with industry bodies such as MATTA in overseas promotions, abolish the counter-productive tourism tax, and provide incentives to upgrade the quality of tourism vehicles that cater to high-spending tourists.”
“The appointment of YB Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi as Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture augurs well for rural tourism in general and east coast of Sabah in particular, as Silam is located midway between Tawau and Sandakan. Our Minister is from this area and could testify that residents and tourists feel just as safe and secure as any other city or town in the country, or for that matter, any other tourist spots around the globe.”
“Moreover, the crystal clear waters and rich marine life of Darvel Bay at Silam is a paradise for hiking and snorkelling, and are havens for birds and birdwatchers in areas where mangroves thrive. Silam’s ecotourism potential should be unlocked and its natural resources shared with upmarket tourists, allowing local residents to treasure and benefit from its natural environment.”
“Therefore, our Government must engage with foreign government organisations that issued travel advisories against visiting the east coast of Sabah to have them lifted. Our tourism industry is bound to rise by several notches when public and private sectors work closely together and in sync, led by our new Minister and Deputy Minister”, concluded Tan.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG
Term 2017 - 2019