‘Prices will rise if conflict continues’


The conflict in the Middle East may affect the tourism sector, a travel association says. — Filepic

Malaysia’s imported and exported goods could be affected if the Middle East conflict continues to escalate.

Ong: Costs and logistics will be affected if conflict continues.Ong: Costs and logistics will be affected if conflict continues.This is because ships now have to take a longer route down the Indian Ocean and around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the conflict region.

North Malaysia Shipping Agents Association president CK Ong said shipping costs would rise and result in an increase in service rates, thus pushing up the prices of goods.

“The logistics chain will be further disrupted as things would arrive at a much later time.

“Both costs and logistics will be affected if this conflict continues,” he said.

Ong said Malaysia imported oil and oil-related products like hydrocarbon from the Middle East and exported wooden products and food items to the region, mostly from Port Klang.

“Higher freight costs will cause shipment costs to increase.

“There is also concern that ships will not be able to access certain ports and have to go to other ports, which will then incur additional costs,” he explained.

Ong said although the situation had not affected Malaysia’s imports and exports, shipping companies were concerned and were constantly monitoring the situation.

“Hopefully it does not escalate and affect us, as the situation can change anytime,” he said, adding that they were dealing with it on an ad-hoc basis, depending on the geopolitical situation.

Wong: Several airlines have altered their flight paths.Wong: Several airlines have altered their flight paths.The conflict is also expected to influence travel bookings to the region, especially destinations closer to the hotspots.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Nigel Wong said some travellers had opted to postpone their trips to a later date.

“Several airlines have also altered their flight paths to circumvent hotspots to ensure that travel around the region continues uninterrupted,” he said.

Carolyn Leong, a travel agency chief executive officer, said so far there had not been any cancellations to places like Dubai, a favourite holiday destination for many.

“No one has reached out to cancel or postpone their trips yet, but we are constantly checking as we want to make sure it is safe.

Leong: We will be monitoring the situation with state tourism office.Leong: We will be monitoring the situation with state tourism office.“We will be monitoring the situation with the state tourism office.

“If at any time we consider it dangerous, we will postpone the trips,” she said.

Leong said most people travelled to Dubai during the winter, with the peak season being from October to January.

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