Three-year passports better, say tour firms

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

JOHOR BARU: Tour operators here welcome the introduction of the two-year passport but feel that a validity period of three years would be better.

Malaysia Association of Travel and Tour Agencies chairman (Johor chapter) Kenny Ngi said for a two-year passport, the official validity is only 18 months.

"This is based on the condition set for passport holders to ensure their documents are valid for at least six months before they are allowed to go overseas.

"However, 18 months is too short. If passport holders have to visit the Immigration Department to renew their passports every 18 months, it will be time and energy-consuming.

"It will be nice if the ministry could consider a three-year passport for between RM120 and RM150."

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, in announcing the introduction of the two-year passport, said the move was prompted by feedback from the people, especially the infrequent travellers.

The passport, costing RM100, will be available from Oct 1. The standard 32-page passport costs RM300 and the 64-page version costs RM600. Both are good for five years.

East Coast Adventure Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd managing director Liza Alip said the government should also consider the needs of frequent travellers.

Instead of reducing the validity period and price as is the case with the alternative passport, she suggested that the fees for the standard five-year passport be lowered. - NST


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