The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has been urged to organise its MATTA Fair in the state more than once annually.
In making the suggestion, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron expressed his confidence that MATTA would attract a large crowd should it decide to host its popular fair more frequently here.
He believed that the association, under the leadership of its new president Datuk Tan Kok Liang, would be able to make the proposal a reality in the future.
“It does not matter in terms of its capacity but for every MATTA Fair held here, I believe the result will not disappoint the organiser,” he told reporters after opening the Melaka MATTA Fair 2017 at Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) in Ayer Keroh here.
Idris said tourism sector in the state continued to experience rapid growth as well as obtaining various international recognitions.
He said popular website Lonely Planet, for example, named Melaka among Asia’s top 10 travel destinations in a list that included places in Japan, Kazakhstan, China, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.
“Other successes this year include the recognition by The British Post which listed Melaka on the fifth spot in ‘The World’s Trendiest Holiday Destinations’ after Reykjavik in Iceland, Varadero (Cuba), Fethiye (Turkey) and Alicante (Spain),” he said.
In responding to Idris’s proposal, Tan said MATTA would review the result of its expo this year before deciding on whether to organise more fairs in the state.
“If the response is good, perhaps we can hold the travel fair twice a year here in the future,” he said.
Earlier in his welcoming speech, Tan called on the Government to look into the needs of the tourism industry when drawing up Budget 2018.
He said funding and incentives for investments in technology as well as allowing double deduction for e-Commerce websites for inbound sector would be needed to facilitate technology implementation.
“Incentives should also be given for online marketing and promotions.
“Otherwise, Malaysia will continue to lose billions of ringgit in foreign exchange to online travel agents that pay little or no tax to our Government,” he said.