Friday, January 12, 2007

Don’t take advantage of tourists

KUALA LUMPUR: Tour operators have been warned against taking advantage of tourists. If they do so, their licences could be revoked, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“I have heard complaints that tour operators are seeking a bigger commission to take tourists to the giant ferris wheel, Eye on Malaysia.

“Their licences can be revoked. If you are given 30%, don’t ask for 50%. That would be a mafia syndrome,” he said yesterday after a meeting here with Tourism Malaysia directors based at 44 offices worldwide.

During the meeting, ongoing and future tourism marketing strategies were reviewed, including ways to increase the in-flow of tourists.

Tengku Adnan said his ministry was revamping its marketing strategy, which included heavier reliance on Internet advertising through working with Yahoo and MSN to attract more tourists into the country.

He said there were 498,506 tourist arrivals for the first 10 days of the year.

The ministry's target is to have 20.1 million tourist arrivals and RM44.5bil revenue by the year-end, or an average 60,000 tourists daily.

“We are looking for a change in strategy to increase the present ratio from 20:80 to 30:70 for long-haul visitors compared with regional visitors,” he said.

He said the ministry was also working with Malaysia Airlines to introduce an eight-minute in-flight tourism video and to offer seats for outbound tour operators.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Ngiam Foon said he had not received any complaint about tour operators requesting exorbitant commission rates, and urged those with complaints to come forward.

Source : STAR
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