While Thai tour buses have full access in Malaysia, Malaysian tour buses do not have such privilege in Thailand.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), calls for a more equitable arrangement regarding cross-border tour bus operations between Malaysia and Thailand. Currently, Malaysian tour buses are restricted to operating within a 100-kilometer radius from the Thailand border, while Thailand tour buses enjoy unrestricted access throughout Malaysia.

President of MATTA, Nigel Wong expressed concern over this disparity and called on the Malaysian Government to engage in discussions with their Thailand counterparts to rectify this imbalance. 

“The current arrangement places Malaysian tour operators at a significant disadvantage. While Thailand tourist buses can traverse the entirety of Malaysia without restrictions, our Malaysian buses face a 100-kilometer limit in Thailand. This is neither fair nor conducive to fostering a mutually beneficial tourism relationship between our two countries,” said Wong in a press statement.

MATTA emphasizes the importance of reciprocal agreements that allow for seamless travel and operations for tour buses from both countries. Such arrangements would not only promote fairness but also enhance tourism collaboration and economic benefits for Malaysia and Thailand.

“We urge the Malaysian Government to take immediate action in negotiating with the Thailand Government to allow Malaysian tour buses the same freedom of movement within Thailand as Thailand buses currently enjoy in Malaysia. This will ensure a level playing field and support the growth and development of the tourism sectors in both nations,” Wong added.

MATTA remains committed to supporting Malaysian travel agents and operators, advocating for policies and practices that facilitate smoother and more efficient operations.

The association is hopeful that the Malaysian Government will prioritize this issue and work towards a fair resolution.