PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (Mita) on Tuesday (June 11) has appealed for the government to consider expanding diesel subsidy to tour bus operators.

Mita president Leong Hoon Min said this was because the implementation of the targeted diesel subsidy, which saw an increase in diesel prices had caused the operating costs of tour buses to increase dramatically, thereby burdening the operators.

“The RM1.20 diesel price increase is too burdening for us, affecting the price of pre-booked tour packages, which may face cancellation.

“Everybody knows that the tourism industry is just gradually recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she told a press conference here today.

According to Leong, the government’s decision not to include tour bus operators in the implementation of the targeted diesel subsidy was quite ‘shocking’.

Sharing the sentiment was the chairman of the Peninsular Malaysia Tour Bus Operators’ Association Chong Sin Wah who said the increase in diesel prices may indirectly contribute to the decline of tourism in the country.

“Quotations for tour packages and contracts that have been issued to customers this month cannot be withdrawn because full payment had already been made,” he said.

Earlier, Leong and Chong together with more than 20 tour bus operators submitted a letter of appeal regarding the diesel subsidy application to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing at the ministry’s office here.

The letter was received by the ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General (Culture) Mohd Yusri Mohd Yusoff.

The price of diesel in the peninsula was set at RM3.35 per litre starting yesterday following the implementation of the targeted diesel subsidy method. – Bernama