Thursday, December 02, 2010

Travel agents want Sabah exempted from ITC

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah travel agents want the State tourism to request that the Transport Ministry give special consideration to the state in dealing with the Inclusive Tour Charter (ITC).

The ITC was enforced in September this year to bar foreign chartered flights from getting Malaysian passengers.

The move is bound to affect the tourism industry in Sabah, said Multiclients Travels Sdn Bhd, managing director Nicholas Liong.

Liong who had been doing chartered flight services for the past 10 years said the ITC was imposed to protect the national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia but it did not benefit the tourism industry in Sabah and Sarawak.

“For peninsula, this policy is not a problem to them but for Sabah it will hurt the tourism sector because we don’t have direct flights to certain popular destinations such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin and Taipei.

“Because of this, we decided to introduce chartered flights for all these destinations which do not have direct flights from Kota Kinabalu. This service benefited a lot of people in the hospitality industry and the state economy.

“We urge our State Tourism Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun to look into the matter and discuss it with the Transport Ministry for a solution,” he said.

Nicholas said the imposition of ITC has nothing to do with the closure of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) runway extension project which started in May this year.

The KKIA runway is closed from 1am to 5am and all the chartered airlines avoided these hours, he said adding that chartered flights would arrive at 11pm and 6am and depart within an hour.

Continue reading at: Travel agents want Sabah exempted from ITC

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