THE MALAYSIAN Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) launched on Friday the MATTA Academy, with the aim of providing skills-based and vocational training for members and their employees, as well as for the tourism industry as a whole. “This is in line with the government’s aim to increase the skill sets of its population and become a high-income nation,” said MATTA Academy board of directors’ chairman, Ngiam Foon.
The new academy, with an investment of RM1.5 million (US$0.5 million) in the building and facilities, is a rebranding and restructuring of the MATTA School of Hospitality.
MATTA president Khalid Harun said: “There have been numerous occasions where the training and courses provided by tourism institutions do not meet the requirements of the travel consultants and tour operators. MATTA knows what is needed by the industry and is well placed to provide the courses suitable for them,” Ngiam said. “The trainers will be practitioners from industry with the expertise and a willingness to share their knowledge.”
One of the training programmes the academy will offer is the Travel & Tours Enhancement Course (TTEC), a yet-to-be-implemented compulsory two-day training stint introduced by the country’s Tourism Ministry for staff of all travel consultancies and tour operators, as a condition for license renewal. “The TTEC is part of the government’s efforts to ensure quality in the industry,” said Ngiam, adding that the TTEC would be rolled out in December or January.
Going forward, the academy will work with industry members to determine which other training topics are relevant. Topics already highlighted included e-commerce and the use of social networking for business. Courses will be open to any interested party at market rates. “MATTA members will enjoy a special rate, making it affordable for them,” said Ngiam.