Saturday, August 25, 2007

Matta Fair to offer Tour Cover Scheme

Visitors to the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tour Agents (Matta) fair next month will be offered the Medi Evac insurance scheme.

This optional scheme will offer them protection against their travel agents absconding or going insolvent.

Matta fair organising deputy chairman Joseph Xavier said all exhibitors had been told to inform visitors about the scheme.

Travellers would be insured for up to RM5,000 for reimbursement or full payment of air tickets or tour packages should the travel agent go bust.

Matta officials said discussions were ongoing to increase the sum to RM10,000, but added that 90% of tour packages were below RM5,000.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai urged all travellers to get insurance protection to ensure the debacle involving tour agent Excellence Holidays Sdn Bhd did not recur.

The company went bust suddenly, causing customers to lose money paid in advance for tour packages to Europe, China and Hong Kong.

The directors are still on the run.

Xavier said they were discussing goodwill packages for those affected.

Underwritten by Kurnia Insurance Malaysia Bhd and RHB Insurance Bhd, the Matta Medi Evac premium is set at RM7.50 per person for the first three days and RM2.50 for each subsequent day.

It also covers medical treatment, repatriation of mortal remains and injuries.

Lim said an amendment to the Tourism Industry Act 1992 was expected to be tabled in Parliament early next year to better protect travellers, including making travel insurance compulsory and the setting up of a compensation fund.

The fair will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, from Sept 7 to 9, with a RM3 entrance fee for adults.

Admission is free for children under 12.

There will be more than 850 booths from 16 countries and the fair is expected to attract 80,000 visitors and generate some RM85mil in sales.

Source : STAR
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