The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) urges the government to extend fuel subsidies to tourism vehicles (Bus Persiaran) which include all types of licensed tourism vehicles (not just buses) in the upcoming subsidy allocation in June 2024.

MATTA represents over 3,000 tour and travel companies in Malaysia. The tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many tour operators struggling to stay afloat.

Providing subsidies for tour buses would provide much-needed relief for these companies as domestic tourism starts to recover.

According to Nigel Wong, President of MATTA, “School and express buses currently receive fuel subsidies from the government. We hope the government will consider extending this to tourism vehicle operators as well. The tourism industry desperately needs help to remain competitive and fuel costs are a major expense for tour operators.”

With the recent increase in tourism footfall in Malaysia, “Bus Persiaran has become essential for facilitating travel within the country for tourists. By extending the fuel subsidy to include Bus Persiaran, tour operators can reduce operational costs, offer more competitive pricing, and attract even more visitors to Malaysia as a travel destination,” said Wong.

“We urge the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to consider the integration of bus services into the subsidy framework”, he added.

MATTA remains committed to collaborating with relevant authorities to ensure that the implementation of new rules for diesel subsidies encompasses the vital aspect of bus transportation, thus contributing to a more efficient and inclusive public transport network for the nation.