Saturday, May 19, 2007

Taxi tout agencies get a warning

Travel agencies doubling as taxi touts better beware because the Government is keeping an eye on their activities.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is well aware of the fact that some agencies have been engaged in touting at the KL International Airport and other ports of entry to “win over” tourists who had booked their travel here through other firms.

“For instance, they can charge the tourists, using their taxi touts, as much as US$200 (RM680) for a ride into town and then ask them to claim back from the agency they had originally booked their travel with.

“We have already identified the errant agencies involved and conducted investigations into their activities.

“In fact, I have informed the Road Transport Department (JPJ) about it so that they can act to clamp down on the touts.

“If the agencies are found guilty of such activities, I want to warn them that their operating licences can be revoked. What they are doing is cheating tourists.

“I also don’t want such agencies to act in way that can encourage more touts,” he told reporters after giving away a RM3,000 contribution to the Police Club at the police district headquarters here yesterday.

Tengku Adnan was commenting on a recent raid by the JPJ at KLIA last week, which flushed out a few agencies acting as touts.

These agencies had charged foreign travellers RM400 for a VIP taxi service using a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

On his ministry’s “relations” with the Immigration Department and Rela, Tengku Adnan said the majority of the officers had been very welcoming and polite during Visit Malaysia 2007.

“Only a few seem to be overzealous about their duties,” he said.

On this year’s Citrawarna celebrations from May 26 to June 10, Tengku Adnan said this year, instead of having states send their own contingents for the parade, different ethnic groups would be asked to showcase their culture and dances.

“The main parade will be along the boulevard in Putrajaya but other states are also hosting their own celebrations.

“We hope that this way, we will be able to promote other parts of Malaysia to tourists.

“At present, tourists are only focusing on areas in Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Langkawi and Penang.

“But we want them to start visiting places in the east coast and Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

Tengku Adnan said the ministry was also working on getting more air connectivity for Sarawak by getting more low-cost carriers to fly from that state.

Source : STAR
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