MATTA, MAH Sign MoU To Boost Tourist Arrivals

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to generate more revenue for the country towards Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

MATTA President, Datuk Tan Kok Liang and MAH President, Cheah Swee Hee, signed the MoU. Also present was Tourism and Culture Ministry Secretary-General, Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah.

Tan said the objective of the MoU included development for cooperation and partnership between both parties in order to promote inbound travel to Malaysia through networking, marketing and other promotional activities.

He said the partnership would act as a platform for both associations to leverage on each other’s technical knowledge, expertise, as well as experience for the expansion and growth of the travel and tourism industry in the country.

“This partnership is timely for travel agents, tour operators and hotels to work together and enhance their service quality due to the potential growth of the tourism industry,” he said.

Tan said the associations would be able to enhance members’ travel and tour offerings for clients towards creating more business opportunities and better industry conditions, thus contributing to the growth of the Malaysian travel and tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Cheah said, currently tourists preferred to make online hotel bookings, which has presented an issue for conventional travel agents in securing competitive hotel rates.

The MoU would help conventional travel agents secure some form of competitive rate for hotel bookings, he said.

“We will encourage (our member) hotels to allocate a percentage but it is up to them. It depends on their market sector and the choice is on the operator. But we want to gather them and help support the initiative,” said Cheah. Rashidi, when met by reporters later, said the ministry forecast 33 million tourist arrivals in 2018.

“This year, 75 per cent of tourist arrivals came from ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, with Singapore being the biggest source market.

“We targeted 31.5 million international tourist arrivals this year but we surpassed that target by 1.5 million,” he said. –Bernama