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Saturday November 27, 2010

Travel advice fee not a must

PETALING JAYA: It is not compulsory for local tour agents and operators to impose consultation fees for advice on vacations.

Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association president Paul Paw said the fees were merely guidelines by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

“The guidelines are to avoid certain irresponsible quarters from simply placing bookings,” he said.

Paw was commenting on a statement by MATTA on Thursday that a consultation fee would be charged effective Jan 1 when prospective travellers sought advice on vacations.

A tour agent from Kuala Lumpur, known only as Chan, said she would not impose such fees.

She said the living standard in Malaysia was not on par with that in Western countries, where many travel agents charged consultation fees.

“Personally, I think RM30 for an enquiry is expensive. We will chase away our customers if we charge the fee,” she said.

Travel and tour agents in Sabah said they were also unlikely to impose the fees.

Regular traveller Ivy Lee, 35, said it was unfair for travel agents to charge the fees because it was the consumers’ right to compare prices.

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