Saturday, September 5, 2015

Festive air on first day of fair

Good start: Masidi (right) shaking hands with Hamzah after the launch of MATTA Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre. Looking on are (from left) MATTA vice-president Tan Kok Liang, SOTA CEO Rohizam Yusof and Tourism Malaysia deputy managing director (planning) Chong Yoke Har.

KUALA LUMPUR: A large crowd and a variety of entertainment lent a festive air to the first day of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair.
Many were at the Putra World Trade Centre as early as 9.30am to buy their tickets, even though the doors only opened at 10am.
Jaclyn Wong, 36, said she visited the fair yesterday to survey the prices of the packages offered.
“My family and I already have tickets to Beijing so I am looking at ground packages for our trip. I am gathering information on the packages and tomorrow someone else from my fa­­mi­­ly will come to purchase it,” said Jaclyn, an educationist.
Students Wong Chee Soon, 22, and Koh Wen Thong, 22, were also there to scout the va­­rious packages available.
“We’re planning a holiday in January and are looking at suitable destinations,” said Chee Soon, adding that they were eyeing Japan, Taiwan or Indonesia.
Some visitors to the fair also factored in the value of the ringgit when choosing their destinations.
Students Abdullah Afeeq Imam Jurnani, 24, and Puteri Azny Fazlina Shamsudin, 24, said they were looking at local destinations.
“At first we were thinking of Singapore, but now we have decided on Malaysia,” said Ab­­dullah.
The fair was launched by Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who was representing Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
The ceremony saw cultural dances from Sabah, Indonesia and Turkey performed.
In his speech, Masidi praised MATTA for its help in the aftermath of the earthquake in Sabah.
Later when speaking to the media, Masidi said Sabah wanted the Federal Government to exempt flight tickets between east Malaysia and the peninsula from the Goods and Ser­­vices Tax (GST), saying it should be consi­dered an essential service.
Masidi also said that Mount Kinabalu was set to be fully open to climbers from Dec 1 and the state tourism department had already received many bookings.
MATTA president Hamzah Rahmat also said at the launch that the association had recently proposed the idea of e-visas to the Government.
“It is the way forward to move into (giving out) e-visas,” said Hamzah, adding that it would spare foreign tourists the hassle of having to bring their passports to the embassy and encourage more tourist arrivals.
-thestar online.

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