We have just been informed by an officer from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) that our tour is “illegal” because we are not licensed by the ministry and also because we are not sanctioned by the local tourism cartel (the local tourism and/or tourist guides association).
The licensing process for Tourist Guide by the ministry is very time consuming and fraught with bureaucracies, making it impractical for our existing volunteers to participate and it will also deter new volunteers from joining us as guides.
While done in the name of regulating the tourist guides or protecting tourists, we strongly believe that the archaic laws, the strict adherence to it and the strict enforcements are in place to protect the paid tours by the local tourism cartel and to stifle competition (just like laws governing taxis were in place to stifle ride sharing operations).
As many of you know, Free Walking Tours are conducted around the world without hindrance and are even supported by their local governments. Disappointingly this does not seem to be the case in Malaysia.
Until we are able to find a way to overcome this, we will have no choice but to temporarily stop the Melaka Free Walking Tour.
If you do not feel that this is fair or right and that the ministry should leave our Free Walking Tour alone instead of attempting to shut it down, please do send your feedback to:-
- [email protected] (
Director of Melaka Office, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture)
- [email protected] (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia)
We apologize for the short notice.