Monday, July 22, 2019

Now can everyone still fly? (Countdown to a potentially ill-fated VMY2020)

You can check in anytime you like           But you can never leave* (without paying your levy)

KL 22 July: The Prime Minister unveils the new Visit Malaysia Year 2020 logo today.
I have no doubt the new logo would be better looking than the old, "odd" one (Dr M makes a monkey out of VMY2020 logo, 30 Jan 2018) and good enough to at least not turn away the foreign tourists.  
But while the Old Man does his bid to try and help the government woo the tourists, his own Ministry of Finance and the various airport authorities don't seem to be helping. 
The MOF, for example, wants to introduce a new airport departure levy that will make Malaysia the first and only country in Asean to charge every passenger leaving its airports. Does that sound like a tourist attraction to you? Of course not but there you are! 
Even the Tourism Minister, who is not known for great sound bytes, has gone on record to say that this would be counter-productive for tourism, particularly for VMY2020. Last week the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association urged the Government to defer the levy "to until after VMY2020". The impact of the levy on the government's aim to attract 30 million tourists during the VMY campaign, said the association's chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan, is just "too obvious (amat ketara)".  
On top of the levy, those flying Malaysia will still have to cough up $$$ in passenger service charge (PSC), which goes to the kitty of Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, the government-linked company that runs all but one of the country's airports. Air Asia, the Malaysian-born leading global low-fare airline, has refused to collect the full RM73 per pax that Malaysia Airports charge in PSC (its boss Tony Fernandes says it's "like saying a budget should charge the same as a 5-star hotel"). 
To be cont'd ...

*With apologies to The Eagles 

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