ALOR SETAR, 2 January 2018: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes no change in fares for Langkawi ferry services. This is in response to the ferry fare hike by RM3 per passenger charged over the counter at Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis jetties, and also return trips from Langkawi yesterday.
MATTA Kedah and Perlis Chapter Chairman, Mohd Yusin Mohd Yatim pointed out, “The surcharge was imposed without prior engagement with stakeholders, including travel and tour operators. The public had a rude shock on the first day of the year when they were made to pay an extra RM3 on top of the RM23 ticket for adults and RM17 for children from Kuala Kedah, and RM18 and RM13 respectively from Kuala Perlis.”
“The public need to be informed of the surcharge beforehand to avoid confusion and unnecessary travel inconvenience. As such, the RM3 represents an increase of 13 to 26 percent, which is substantial and could deter families from visiting Langkawi. Any increase in ferry charges must be justified and the public buy-in sought.”
“This should not happen for essential services such as ferry service to Langkawi. Apart from encouraging tourism, many passengers are commuters or local residents on the island, Kedah or Perlis. Exempting Langkawi residents from surcharge do not solve but create more problems when passengers argue with the counter staff over their residential status.”
MATTA President, Datuk Tan Kok Liang added, “Any change in ferry ticket fares or arrangements should be discussed with all relevant stakeholders prior to implementation and MATTA would be happy to participate and contribute the tourism industry point of view, from both domestic and foreign visitors’ angles.”
“Closer working relationship between the Marine Department, State Government and ferry operators including travel and tour operators are necessary to upscale the region’s ferry services for the betterment of our tourism industry,” concluded Tan.
MOHD YUSIN MOHD YATIM
MATTA Kedah and Perlis Chapter Chairman
Term 2017 – 2019