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MTF urges government for diesel subsidies to support tour operators

Datuk Tan Kok Liang…advocating for immediate fuel subsidies until March 31, 2025

By Nikko Fabian
KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Tourism Federation (MTF) issued a pressing plea to the Government to implement a diesel subsidy mechanism for van and tour bus operators in response to the recent surge in diesel prices.

The tourism sector, already grappling with fierce competition, is now facing severe financial setbacks due to the escalating costs of fuel, jeopardizing the profitability and viability of businesses in the industry.

During the federation’s annual general meeting tecently, its president  Datuk Tan Kok Liang emphasized the urgent need for immediate intervention to address the significant losses incurred by tour operators.

With the average diesel bus consuming approximately 4 kilometers per litre, he said operators are experiencing unsustainable financial losses with each trip undertaken at pre-agreed rates established prior to the price hike.

“The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that tour operators are currently losing an estimated RM 3,600 per bus per month, translating to a staggering total loss exceeding RM 100 million over the next six months for the entire industry,” Tan said adding this financial strain is particularly burdensome for micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector, exacerbating their challenges in an already competitive market.

In response to these critical challenges, MTF has urgently requested market adjustments, advocating for immediate fuel subsidies until March 31, 2025, or an extension of the existing RM2.15 per litre diesel subsidy until the same date.

These measures are deemed essential to alleviate the financial pressures faced by tour operators and provide them with much-needed support in navigating the escalating costs of diesel.

MTF has directed its appeal to the Government, specifically calling upon the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, to swiftly consider and act upon their proposals to bolster the tourism industry during this tumultuous period.

The industry’s sustainability and competitiveness hinge on decisive support from public stakeholders to weather the economic challenges at hand.

As a unifying force for national tourism associations in Malaysia, the Malaysian Tourism Federation plays a pivotal role in advocating for policies that foster the growth and advancement of the tourism sector.

The current advocacy for diesel subsidies underscores the critical imperative to address the financial adversities confronting tour operators and to uphold the industry’s vital contribution to the nation’s economy

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