‘Domestic cruises can help revive tourism sector’
KUALA LUMPUR,. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has been working very closely with industry partners and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to kickstart domestic cruises as a way to help revive the ailing tourism sector.
Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang, in a statement yesterday, said it has received word from the Ministry of Transport that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the operation of domestic
cruises are being actively discussed with the National Security Council.
“Matta has long recognised the immense potential of the cruise industry which benefits not only travel agencies but also hotels, the aviation sector, theme parks, attractions, retail and many other tourism-related industries,” he said.
“A single ship, like the Costa Venezia, with a capacity of 5,000 passengers can generate revenue of up to RM60 million. In addition to that, domestic cruises especially during these trying times, have the potential to generate thousands of jobs almost immediately especially in port cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi and Melaka,” he added.
Meanwhile, Matta Honorary Secretary General Nigel Wong said the association has been engaging the relevant ministries for years not just on the implementation of domestic cruises as a quick-win solution during these trying times but more importantly the benefits of having Malaysia recognised as a home-port destination.
“We already have the necessary infrastructure and manpower in place to service this emerging and very profitable sector – the long-term benefits of having home-port status are immense especially since Malaysia is recognised worldwide as a very modern, and progressive Muslim-friendly destination,” Wong said.