Further Restriction of Entertainment Outlet Operating Hours A Damper to Tourism

Kuala Lumpur, 30 November 2018 – The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is concerned with the report that Kuala Lumpur City Hall would ensure all entertainment outlets in the city to be closed by 1am, as stated by Minister of Federal Territories, YB Tuan Haji Khalid Abdul Samad.

He said this would remind people in Kuala Lumpur to spend more time and money with their families rather than at entertainment outlets, and to enhance family time. He added that a very limited number of outlets were given special permission to operate beyond 1am to cater to tourists but found most of the patrons were locals.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang says “The reasons given are frivolous, but the repercussions could be great. As it is, the night scene in Kuala Lumpur leaves much to be desired for tourists. City Hall ought to take into cognisance that the city is not just for local residents but also the huge number of domestic and foreign tourists.”

“Last year, Kuala Lumpur attracted 12.29 million international tourists, ahead of world-renowned cities such as Rome, Tokyo, Istanbul, Seoul, Miami, Barcelona and Shanghai. Curtailing operating hours of entertainment outlets would certainly dampen visitors’ experience and unlikely to return for more.”

“Kuala Lumpur would also be perceived as less tourist-friendly, which will affect visitor arrivals, and the total number for the whole country dropped for the first nine months of this year. The situation would be further exasperated by airport departure levy effective from January 1 next year.”

“But more impactful would be on tourism receipts and our country’s economy, as entertainment outlets affect high-spending tourists the most, including those who are here for business meetings, on incentive tours, attending conferences or participating in exhibitions, popularly known as the MICE market.”

“Our country’s economy would suffer with less vibrancy that businessmen and investors could bring to our shores. It should also be noted that Malaysia’s tourism industry employs 3.2 million persons and contributed 22.7 per cent to total employment.”

“As such, closing entertainment outlets at 1am sharp may create a ripple effect on our tourism industry and affect our country’s economy” warned Tan.

President MATTA
Term 2017 – 2019