Tuesday, September 28

Departure tax not going to stop travellers, says MATTA


KUALA LUMPUR: People who want to travel will travel, and hence the departure levy on all passengers departing Malaysian airports effective Sept 1 is not expected to impact sales at the upcoming Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2019.

MATTA honorary secretary general, Nigel Wong said the industry players, however, remained cautious on the effect of the tax on inbound tourism.

“It’s too early to tell, but in general it will be good if the tax be deferred until after Visit Malaysia Year 2020,” he said at a press conference on the upcoming MATTA Fair 2019 here yesterday. In a gazette published by the federal government on July 31, economy-class passengers departing from Malaysian airports for ASEAN countries will have to pay a departure levy of RM8 and RM50 for other classes, while for non-ASEAN destinations, the rate is RM20 for an economy-class flight and RM150 for other classes.

Meanwhile, on the MATTA Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here, from Sept 6 to 8, Wong said a turnout of 100,000 people was expected at the largest consumer travel fair in Malaysia.

The 48th edition of MATTA Fair is expected to have 1,389 booths compared with 1,336 at last September’s fair and will be participated by more than 300 travel and tourism industry players from all over the country.

The MATTA Fair will also promote Johor as Malaysia’s favourite destination, with Desaru Coast and Legoland Malaysia Resort as Malaysia’s favourite theme parks, and Taiwan as Asia’s favourite destination.

Meanwhile, Mohd Fazrudi Mohd Rohdzi, head of operations for KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus service, hoped the partnership with MATTA would encourage those coming to the fair to take the opportunity to tour the city with the company’s sky-roofed double decker buses.

“So far, 90 per cent of our passengers are foreigners but the concept is not only for foreigners but for everyone. This September, they can take a holiday with their family here and use the bus service,” he said. — Bernama