Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tour operators Cashing in on 'Eye' may Lose Permits

KUALA LUMPUR: Tour operators are demanding a higher commission to take tourists to the Eye of Malaysia — the latest attraction in Kuala Lumpur.

Barely a week since the biggest Ferris wheel ride in the country was launched, the Tourism Ministry received complaints that some in-bound operators are expecting a 50 per cent commission on the cost of the ride.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, displeased with the complaints, said yesterday the licences of these tour operators might be revoked if they persisted.

"They are negotiating with the Ferris wheel operator because they want to send bus-loads of tourists daily," Tengku Adnan said.

"I’m not happy with this ‘mafia’ system. The operators had earlier agreed to a 30 per cent commission but now they are demanding an additional 20 per cent."

The Eye on Malaysia ride costs RM15 for adults and RM8 for children and senior citizens.

"We will look into the matter and take appropriate action," Tengku Adnan said after chairing the annual Tourism Malaysia overseas directors’ meeting.

He said the ministry had been given RM250 million this year for promotion activities. Estimated receipts from tourism this year are expected to be RM44.5 billion.

The ministry is also developing contingency plans to ensure that tourists would continue to arrive in droves after Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

"We are looking at new marketing strategies, including Internet advertising," he said.

Next year, the ministry has projected a tourism revenue of RM48 billion.

Source : NST
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