MATTA calls on govt to put in place measures to mitigate lockdown effects

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 May 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) has called on the government to put in place necessary measures following its decision to impose a total lockdown from June 1 to 14.

According to the association, tourist arrivals to the country fell by 83.4% in 2020 with Malaysia’s tourist receipts also plunging by 85.3% from RM86.14bil in 2019 to RM12.69bil last year.

"Most of the tourists, or 4.23 million in 2020, arrived before the borders were shut on March 18.

"The industry and related economic activities have suffered losses of over RM100bil in total”, said its honorary treasurer Faeez Fadhlillah in a statement Saturday (May 29).

It is also calling for the government to implement five initiatives to cushion the economic risks of the lockdown, mainly, an automatic loan moratorium for travel players, wage subsidies extension until the of the year, cancellation of the Travel & Tour Enhancment Course (TTEC), financial assistance for travel agents.

This is because they are highly affected by the continuous movement control order and closure of state and international borders.

MATTA, he said, is also urging for the loan moratorium with zero interest until Dec 31 together with the extension of the wage subsidies program.

"MATTA is supporting the proposal made by the Federation of Malaysian Business Associations (FMBA) where a 70% wage subsidy is given for all staff earning less than RM4,000 and a 30% subsidy (capped at RM3,000) for those who earn above RM4,000.

“MATTA is calling for the government to come up with a tourism recovery roadmap together with the private sector as there is a desperate need for the travel industry to plan and strategize for the future of the travel industry," he said.

He said that it should include a clear framework and timeframe when both domestic, as well as international borders, can re-open, one that clearly outlines the conditions under which our borders can begin to re-open.

"A major revamp of the tourism policies including the amendment of the Tourism Industry Act 1992 as well as the cancellation of the TTEC has to take place in line with the overall framework”, added Faeez

Faeez said that MATTA and the travel industry have always supported the government throughout the pandemic and it is time the government does that same to save this dying industry that employs millions.

"The key to managing this crisis lies with proper coordination between the government and the private sector to ensure we can get through this with the most minimal impact and painless as possible”, he said.

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