KUALA LUMPUR, November 2, 2021: The Malaysian Travel and Travel Agency Association (MATTA) estimates that the 2022 national budget could have been better to accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry.
But the powerful association of travel agencies noted that several proposals in the budget were positive. MATTA had submitted detailed proposals and was hoping for a more “generous” budget to support an industry that has suffered lockdowns and lockdowns from international tourists since March 2020.
MATTA Chairman Datuk Tan Kok Liang said, “We welcome the targeted assistance to protect staff in the tourism industry through the extension of the wage subsidy program pending the gradual opening of borders for international tourists. Other than that, the rest of the budget initiatives fall short of expectations to rehabilitate and boost domestic travel. “
Tan added that the personal tax relief of MYR 1,000 for domestic travel extended until 2022 does not create a significant impact as the tax saving is only MYR 210 if a taxpayer is located. under the 21% tax bracket. MATTA had previously requested an individual tax break of MYR 8,000. There were no tax incentives for local businesses providing incentive travel or vacations for their staff within the country to stimulate domestic travel. But Tan said the MYR 60 million incentive fund would encourage domestic travel.
“Out of the MYR 600 million tourism fund under the Penjana Tourism Finance and BPMB Rehabilitation Program, there should be flexibility in terms and conditions, and a nominal interest rate should be set. apply to allow tourist SMEs in difficulty to access funds ”.
Tan also said that establishing a new business travelers center in Johor will help improve the business travel segment due to its proximity to Singapore. Singapore has always been the main contributor of foreign tourist arrivals to Malaysia, and it makes business sense to have such a hub in Johor.
The Malaysia Digital Nomad program was also well received as it would create an ecosystem of digital nomads in the country using the tourism sector as a catalyst; and therefore creating a new potential market for tourism players.
“We urge the government to review and reassess support to accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry as we enter the endemic phase in 2022.”