Mita allows 20% hike in rental of tour buses

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (Mita) will allow tour operators, who have been left out of receiving the diesel subsidy to increase the rental of buses by up to 20% starting June 17.

Mita president Leon Hoon Min said this was the agreement reached between various bus operators after the retail price of diesel was allowed to rise to RM3.35 per litre when the government switched to a targeted subsidy system.

Tour buses are not on the list of 33 types of vehicles that can continue buying diesel at the subsidised price of RM2.15 per litre through the SKDS fleet card scheme.

The tourism industry has since applied to the government for tour buses to be included in the SKDS scheme.

“We received a positive response from Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (with regard to) our letter of appeal that we sent on Tuesday,” she told a press conference here alongside representatives from the Association of Bumiputera Tourism Operators of Malaysia.

Leon said she and Tiong will meet with key players in the tour bus industry at the end of June or early July to further discuss their application to the government.

“Without the subsidies, and now with the rise of bus rental prices, the burden of cost falls on the consumer, both domestically and internationally,” said Leon.

She reiterated that the tourism industry is still in the recovery phase of Covid-19, as many bus operators are still paying off debts accrued during pandemic-era lockdowns.

“This is a short-term solution, and we hope all the industry players cooperate for the time being while we come to an agreement that can benefit all parties.” said Leon.

She added Mita will monitor the price increase in line with the latest retail price of diesel.

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