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Sunday, March 15, 2015
Malaysians throng MATTA Fair looking for cheap domestic destinations
Hunting for bargains: MATTA Fair visitors also checking out local tour packages at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. — SAMUEL ONG / THE STAR.
KUALA LUMPUR: The MATTA Fair is attracting travel enthusiasts from around the country in droves to explore not only foreign destinations, but also domestic ones.
Hospitality and tourism student Lim Mee Yee from Ipoh said the fair provided cheaper avenues to explore domestic destinations.
Lim said there were also booths that promoted travel to local destinations that were not known to many, even Malaysians. “As students pursuing tourism and hospitality, this excites us and we feel that this fair serves to promote inbound travel,” she said at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Asked about the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Lim said the package was still cheaper compared to many international destinations. “We are looking to buy a trip to Pulau Pangkor for RM395 and when you include 6% to that, I don’t think it will come to much more,” she said.
Sharing her sentiments were accountant P. Selva, 33, and his wife G. Shamini. “We have always liked the idea of travelling, but never really had the time before.
“Now that we can, we certainly want to start with domestic destinations as there are countless beautiful places in the country. “I have done a lot of research on where to travel and there are many impressive destinations right here,” said Selva, adding that they would be travelling to Sabah in June.
Another person looking for a domestic destination is Musa Sukor, 63. “Call me biased, but Malaysian destinations will always top my list,” he said.
Musa, who hails from Muar, Johor, said he and his wife had been visiting local destinations since he retired. “It is something we planned when we were young and now with the Government encouraging travel, everything works to our advantage,” he said.
“Previously, my wife and I would save up and work towards our travel until we heard about this fair three years ago. “Since then, we have been coming here annually.”
MATTA Fair organising chairman S. Jayakumar said the first day of the fair charted a 10% sales growth, exceeding expectations. “There were 21,139 entrance tickets sold on the first day itself,” he said. As at 6pm yesterday, there were more than 19,800 visitors to the fair.