Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fair to focus on domestic travel

KUALA LUMPUR: The fall in the ringgit will not dampen the holiday spirit of Malaysians, as far as the nation’s premier travel fair is concerned. It will be going all out to promote domestic travel packages.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has announced it will be working hand in hand with Tourism Malaysia to promote tourist destinations within the country.
MATTA CEO Phua Tai Neng told reporters that this year’s fair, to be held from Sept 4 to 6 at the Putra World Trade Centre, would focus on domestic tourism, including Sabah and Sarawak.
“We have been working with Tourism Malaysia and this time we have more than one hall filled with booths promoting domestic travel, so the whole of hall four and a part of hall three will be for that.
“In 2014, 60.7 million Malaysians were domestic tourists, which was a 11.6% increase from 54.4 million in 2013, so we are definitely expecting at least a 5% increase this year,” he said.
Phua said that although the weakening ringgit would aid inbound tourism, the sector would need at least a week or two more before it could see an obvious pattern.
“It is not only about the currency. Malaysia has got a lot to offer, especially in terms of eco-tourism,” he said during a press conference at the MATTA headquarters here.
Phua said there would be a total of 1,233 booths in six halls at this year’s fair.
“Some of the new travel destinations include Aceh, Iran, Mexico and Indonesia.
“Sri Lanka and Korea are going big this time, while Nepal is going on a medium scale to slowly tell the world that they are recovering from what happened,” he said.
Tourism Malaysia director of domestic marketing, Iskandar Mirza, said they would occupy 70 booths.
“State travel organisations from Sabah, Sarawak, Langkawi, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Pahang and Putrajaya will be in the fair, too,” he added.
Iskandar said Tourism Malaysia would be launching a special package on Pahang this year, which would primarily focus on eco-tourism.
“We realise that Malaysians these days prefer to travel with packages, as it helps them to save money,” he said.
-thestar online.

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