PETALING JAYA:, a local online tourism platform, which is the first of its kind to connect licensed travel agencies and tour operators with various consumer markets, said the initiative will go a long way towards preventing online scams.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) said it is collaborating with Penang as its official partner for the online platform that is also designed to boost domestic travel bookings.

Penang Executive Councillor for Tourism and Creative Economy Yeoh Soon Hin, said the collaboration with Matta would help to develop promotional activities for Penang’s tourism industry through the e-commerce platform.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said as its pioneering effort, the online platform will support small and medium travel agents in terms of marketing.

He said it is set to improve business opportunities, increase occupancy rates, bolster revenue generation and boost travel trade profitability in line with the government’s digital economy goals.

“With the launch of this new platform, tourism players have responded positively and are eager to promote their products and attractions on it. This is timely for the Malaysian travel and tourism industry,” he said.

Tan said also provides an alternative for consumers to buy from a specially-designed platform that eliminates scammers, internet fraudsters and unlicensed travel agents.

Matta honorary treasurer and spokesman Nigel Wong, said Penang was the first state to respond to its introduction of as its tourism plans has already incorporated digitalisation goals.

“Penang is supporting the platform by working with Matta members to promote the state as a cost-friendly, exciting destination.

“The platform is designed to allow partners, be they state trading organisation or brands, to plan targeted campaigns any time of the year in line with their
individual marketing strategies. will provide flexible collaboration opportunities all year round,” he told theSun.

Wong added that as the platform gains more traction, consumers who shop on it will be less susceptible to scams. This is because all the merchants on the platform are licensed by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and have to comply with its strict code.

“We will run various campaigns and initiatives throughout the year to promote the platform and educate consumers on how to ensure that they are not cheated when buying travel packages online.

“This online platform is the first major initiative of its kind that seeks to connect licensed travel agencies and tour operators with various consumer markets.

“We encourage all Matta members to take advantage of this platform and come onboard as soon as possible to take advantage of the campaigns the platform will run.

“Consumers are also urged to frequent the platform and purchase their travel packages from which offers a greater degree of security and value.”