Tour agents to wait and see
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents has suggested that inbound tour operators maintain their rates for now. -NST
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has suggested that inbound tour operators maintain their rates for now.
Matta president Ngiam Foon said it would be premature to revise rates as the association "expects more changes".
"I suggest we wait and see what other changes are coming because it looks like changes are going to happen every month," he said yesterday.
"This will affect tour operators with inbound coaches, but we don't know how far this will impact the industry or how to respond to this yet.
"I don't think it is acceptable to change the rates every month.
"The industry will come together soon to work out a proposal to address the fuel price hike."
Ngiam said operators may emulate the airline industry by imposing some form of fuel surcharge.
"We also need to consider the inflation rate and how it will impact the take-home pay of domestic travellers."
Ngiam said they expected the public would need at least a month to come to terms with the price increase.
"Once they come to grips with it, then we can see whether they feel like going for holidays or not.
"I don't think holidays are on their minds right now," said Ngiam.
However, the Malaysian Shopping Secretariat, which oversees the Malaysia Mega Sale, does not think the increase in fuel prices would hurt retail sales.
Its general manager, Tony Mariadas, acknowledged that public spending power would decrease, but remained optimistic of Malaysia's retail outlook, especially during the Mega Sales.
"Having a sale means things are cheaper than normal and Malaysians, being Malaysians, will take the opportunity to get things cheaper and make the best of a sale," he said, adding that they were targeting RM50.3 billion in sales this year.
Mariadas said the fuel hike may encourage shoppers to use public transport, thus helping traffic flow.
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