KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) said the Budget 2020’s allocation for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) would help boost tourist arrivals into the country.
Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s budget announcement was in line with Visit Malaysia 2020.
“We are elated that Budget 2020 contains incentives for the tourism industry. We have presented this to the government previously and they are finally being realised.
“We are especially delighted with the accelerated capital allowance for the purchase of completely knocked down (CKD) tour vehicles for two years and 50 per cent reduction of excise duty for locally assembled vehicles.
“This will allow operators a great window of opportunity to replace their ageing vehicles at a much reduced cost. Modernising their fleet will provide greater comfort to tourists during Visit Malaysia 2020,” said Tan when contacted by Malay Mail.
He added that the RM1.1 billion allocated to (MOTAC), of which RM90 million has been allocated for promotions, will empower MOTAC to step up enforcement and continuation of incentives, such as the matching grant under Galakan Melancong Malaysia (GAMELAN Malaysia 2019).
“Matta had long been advocating for a policy that is more welcoming for foreign tourists and it is heartening to note that a new mechanism on e-Visa will be introduced to facilitate their arrivals,” he said.
Tan was referring to the e-visa applications which are now available for 10 countries, including China and India and to facilitate the visa application process, licensed travel agents under MOTAC, are now allowed to submit group application for up to 100 people per transaction through the eNTRI and eVISA system.
Previously, Tan said these visas had to be applied in single transaction which were inconvenient for huge travel groups.
“We are happy with the measures and incentives, including those for theme parks that were announced in Budget 2020. With this incentive of the exemption for statutory income for investment in theme parks, it should be a strong encouragement for the establishment of more theme parks, which will boost tourism in the various states,” he added.
Under the Budget 2020, new investments in international theme park projects will be given income tax exemption of 100 per cent of statutory income or Investment Tax Allowance of 100 per cent to be set off against 70 per cent for five years.