Kuala Lumpur, 10 October 2017 – The Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be tabling Budget 2018 in Parliament on 27 October, after taking into account the views and feedbacks from various stakeholders.
As in previous years, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has again submitted proposals, and is hoping that incentives and funding needed to spur the travel industry forward would be granted.
MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said, “Our proposals include extending the incentives granted for inbound tour operators to 2020, and easing conditions to help new or small companies, many of them bumiputera operators. Tour operators handling more than 750 foreign tourists and 1,500 domestic tourists are given tax incentives under Galakan Cukai Bagi Pengusaha Pelancongan Yang Mengendalikan Pakej Pelancong Domestik.”
“We have also sought funding for capacity building in the travel sector, from training apprentices to reskilling and upskilling of current practitioners. The aim is to raise professionalism, using the Malaysian Skills Certificate and Diploma as the standard for formal recognition of industry experts.”
“In order to compete effectively online where giant Online Travel Agents dominate in cyberspace, incentives are needed for online marketing and promotions, and double deductions allowed for e-commerce websites for inbound operators. This will allow our country to earn and retain more foreign exchange, and collect more taxes from local companies.”
“In order to attract more high-spending tourists, we have asked for waiver of import duty for luxury tour vehicles, and excise duty exemption be extended to all classes of tourism vehicles. As there is always a limit on capacity, the better way to increase tourism receipts for our country is attracting visitors with high per capita expenditure. There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Malaysia, but our tourist transportation, especially for small groups and family, is not up to par.”
“Granting incentives and funding to the tourism industry are investments that offer the highest return for the government. Also, the spillover effects benefit many industries, as many markets and services overlap into tourism.”
“On top of our wish list for our tourism industry is visitors to Malaysia would enjoy a most friendly environment and welcoming experience upon their arrival at various entry points. For this to occur at our international airports, arriving passengers must be able to spot and understand signage that guide them confidently to where they are heading, such as baggage claim area and identify the right carousel, and washrooms that are spotless for them to use comfortably.”
“Long queues at immigration counters are inevitable when large number of passengers arrived the same time. Under such taxing situation, a smile from immigration officers can work wonders and make visitors feel most welcome. When both public and private sectors are in sync to make visitors feel at home, our tourism industry would remain on track to achieve the 36 million visitors targeted for by 2020”, concluded Tan.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG
Term 2017 – 2019