KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents is embarking on a sales mission to Kochi, India, on Wednesday.
MATTA vice-president (inbound) Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the mission was organised by MATTA in accordance with a successful sales mission to the south Indian cities of Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Chennai in August.
“The sales and fact-finding mission this time includes Colombo as the number of visitors from Sri Lanka has fallen from 32,089 for the first eight months of last year to 19,004 this year, a drop of 40.8 per cent.
“The percentage of decrease for Indian visitors over the same period was lesser, at 6.7 per cent, from 483,841 to 451,295,” he said in a statement here today.
Tan said it has understandable for Indian and Sri Lankan nationals to be more inclined to visit other countries as they allegedly faced obstacles when planning to visit Malaysia.
“Travel agents in India are complaining that visa agents charge INR5,000 (RM325.38) as processing fee on top of the INR1,000 (RM65.08) fee for a Malaysian visa.
An INR3,000 (RM195.21) fee is charged for those who apply e-Visa online, but the high rate of rejection forced many to apply manually,” he said.
Furthermore, he said, a joint e-Visa application may result in some members of the family or an incentive tour group approved while others were rejected.
“Instead of paying much more to obtain a Malaysian visa or go through unnecessary hassle, many tourists choose to visit other countries for their holidays or MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) events, negating the efforts made by Tourism Malaysia,” he said.
The sales mission to Kochi and Colombo is again supported by Tourism Malaysia, as its south India office also covers Sri Lanka.
Source : The Malaysian Times