KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): The increased tourism tax share rate is a right move to encourage states’ involvement with the industry, according to Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).
In a statement today, its president Datuk Tan Kok Liang lauded the government’s “right move in empowering states to be more involved with tourism”, as extra funds can be used to bump up efforts in attracting more visitors.
“An increase of visitors will not only benefit the tourism industry, it would also have an impact on other industries and states’ economy”, Tan said.
Yesterday, tourism and culture minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz announced in the Dewan Rakyat that state governments are to be returned 50% of the RM10 tourism tax (TTx) collected, instead of the initial 10%.
Tan explained state tourism organisations (STOs) can now be more aggressive in overseas promotions and collect more TTx from the increase of foreign visitors, as well as investing in tourism infrastructure development.
Digital marketing too will be looked into, to develop destination apps for every district, to provide information and to allow on-the-spot bookings, he added.
Tan also said a portion of the extra fund will be allocated for human capital development to train front liners for the provision of better customer service, which includes education of basic foreign language communication.
“Extra funds from the TTx are bound to boost the states’ efforts in preparing and promoting what they have to offer to tourists. MATTA has 13 chapters nationwide and are ready to work closely with the STOs.”
MATTA is the largest non-governmental organisation for travel in Malaysia, with 3,200 members under its umbrella, comprising local tour and travel agents, as well as overseas affiliations.