KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has reportedly said that travel operators are no longer allowed to list shopping in their tour itineraries for foreign tourists.
He said the ministry received numerous complaints from tourists, and therefore he has urged travel groups to bring visitors to appropriate attractions instead when they are in Malaysia.
“We will issue a circular that states that tour guides are not allowed to take visitors shopping and should not include shopping destinations in their itineraries.
“We’ll upgrade our tourism website to include a location list for hotels, bars, restaurants, and retail centres,” Tiong told The Star after launching Tomei’s “55th Emerald Year — Bloom From Within” campaign yesterday.
He added that other countries had also implemented similar bans and his ministry would take necessary action if incoming tours continue to include shopping trips.
“Tour operators could schedule breaks for a day or two so tourists could choose where to go shopping,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister added that the country is expected to receive an influx of Chinese tourists following China’s government reopening its borders early this year.
Tiong urged travel groups to create itineraries that can showcase Malaysia’s unique culture and leave a good impression on tourists.
He added that tourists from China are expected to boost the domestic consumer market and would be a catalyst for economic recovery.
“Therefore, we must grasp the needs and intentions of travellers from China and make appropriate arrangements to attract them.
“I hope the relevant businesses will seize the opportunity to tailor-make itineraries and products for tourists celebrating the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China (in 2024),” he added.