MATTA hopes Budget 2022 will be generous towards tourism industry

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) hopes the upcoming Budget 2022 will be “generous” towards the tourism industry, with specific assistance for tour operators and travel agencies who have contributed significantly to its development.

MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said rehabilitating tourism businesses involved providing soft loans for companies to rebuild an infrastructure that had collapsed, retain and retrain staff, as well as provide support to meet consumer expectations and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness as a preferred destination.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, current tourism strategies will be local before global.

"As such, Budget 2022 should focus on providing travel stimulus packages and tax incentives for personal and corporate travel.

“Given the limitations of domestic tourism, the government must fast-track the framework and travel solutions to expedite opening the border for international tourists,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 20).

Tan said MATTA had submitted its proposals and wish list to the Finance Ministry for Budget 2022 to urgently help a critically injured economic sector and its stakeholders.

The travel association had urged the Finance Ministry to set up a Tourism Recovery and Growth Fund to provide financial support to all stakeholders and private sector companies in the tourism industry to restart, revive, sustain and grow their respective sectors now and into the future.

The fund should provide at least RM5bil for a start as a soft loan facility, with 1.0% interest and a repayment period of seven years, it said.

MATTA also informed the government that the revival of the tourism industry needed a clear strategic roadmap for the reopening of international borders with set regulations and safe travel protocols.

It said while domestic travel is important, it would not be enough to sustain the overall tourism industry.

MATTA also called for an extension of the wage subsidy programmes from Oct 1 this year March 31 while waiting for international tourist arrivals into Malaysia. – Bernama

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