Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tourism Ministry officers to check out complaints on tour operators

MORIB (Selangor): Some tour operators have started their throat-cutting game ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2007, less than two weeks away.

The Tourism Ministry said it has received information of over-charging on souvenir items and hotel rooms and would be sending out its officers to check on these complaints.

“We are very concern about the problem even though the number of such cases is not serious,” deputy minister Datuk Donald Lim told reporters after officiating at the sales launch of the Gold Coast Morib Resort here Sunday.

He added, however, that the ministry could only advise the culprits to be fair in their business as there were no laws to stop them from over-charging.

He said the ministry would work with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and other relevant agencies to tackle the problem caused by irresponsible traders and hotel operators.

“There are complaints against souvenir traders selling goods at cut-throat price.

“We have also received a number complaints that some hotels are over-charging their guests,” said Lim, adding that most complaints were made by Asian tourists who stayed at hotels with four-star ratings and below.

He said besides the ‘visit Malaysia’ campaign to draw more visitors to the country, the nation also expects a bumper tourist arrival when it celebrates its 50th year of independence next year.

He urged all Malaysians to give their cooperation and support the tourism sector as well as the national and public image of the country.

“We want tourists to come here and buy our souvenirs, which will give them sweet memories of Malaysia and not a feeling of being cheated,” said Lim, adding that Malaysia expects 20 million tourists next year and RM44.5bil worth of foreign exchange.

There are 2,269 hotels with one star to five star ratings, said Lim, adding that the country would have 3,200 hotels by 2010 to cater to the needs of the rising number of tourists.

Source : STAR
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