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MATTA calls for government support on diesel subsidies for tour operators

MATTA-Diesel Subsidies for Tour Operators

MATTA urges the Malaysian Government to implement diesel subsidies for van and tour bus operators to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices on the tourism industry.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has expressed gratitude towards the Government for considering diesel subsidies for van and tour bus operators, falling under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC).

MATTA acknowledges the Government’s efforts in maintaining diesel subsidies for the logistics sector, crucial for managing consumer goods costs. However, the recent announcement regarding the end of the diesel subsidy rationalization and subsequent price hike has significantly impacted van and tour bus operators, affecting the broader tourism industry.

Before the price adjustment, analysis revealed that tour vans and buses consumed substantial amounts of diesel monthly. With the new diesel price set at RM3.35 per litre, fuel costs have surged by 54%, imposing a heavy financial burden on the sector. This increase challenges operators’ ability to maintain competitive pricing and deliver high-quality services to both international and domestic tourists.

Recognizing the Government’s initiative, MATTA is submitting a formal proposal with specific recommendations to ensure a smooth transition and sustained industry growth. Nigel Wong, President of MATTA, highlighted the importance of fuel subsidies in light of the upcoming Year of Visit Malaysia 2026 (VM2026) campaign. He stated, “The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) aims to attract 35.6 million foreign tourists to Malaysia. Fuel subsidies are crucial to alleviate the financial strain on operators, supporting competitiveness and ensuring the campaign’s success.”

MATTA proposes a monthly diesel subsidy quota of 3,000 litres per vehicle. This allocation would significantly mitigate the financial burden caused by rising diesel prices and help maintain industry competitiveness.

Wong further emphasized, “We understand the objectives of the Madani Government and fully support them. However, the industry needs time to adjust, given the contractual obligations many agents have. A grace period would allow tour operators to meet these existing commitments without immediately bearing the losses from increased fuel costs.”

By implementing these measures, MATTA believes the tourism industry will be better positioned to continue its significant contribution to Malaysia’s economy while ensuring tourists receive exceptional experiences.

MATTA trusts that the Government, particularly the Ministry of Finance and MOTAC, will consider these proposals to support the tourism sector during this challenging period.

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