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Saturday, December 24, 2016
MATTA expects increased demand next year
Preparing ahead: Phua (second from left) going through details with exhibitors after the balloting ceremony for the upcoming MATTA Fair in March 2017.
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the challenging global economic climate and perceived security concerns, many Malaysians are still choosing to travel, says Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) chief executive officer Phua Tai Neng.
“I think people need a break, and you also have those who need to travel for business,” he said in an interview after the balloting ceremony for exhibitors for the upcoming 2017 MATTA Fair at its headquarters here yesterday.
He said that exhibitors have shown confidence in the tourism market, with almost 75% of the booths for the three-day event, from March 17 to 19, 2017, booked.
“We opened registration (for the tour and travel companies) on Dec 15. So they are showing their confidence in the market. We’re confident the booths will be sold out soon,” he added.
Phua said that the fair was expected to be the biggest to date, with the addition of Merdeka Hall in the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) to accommodate more than 100 booths.
“The extra space will be dedicated to Malaysian destinations,” he said, adding that Hall 4 of the PWTC will also be dedicated to Malaysian destinations.
Tourism Malaysia will take up 70 booths, 10 more than the last fair in September.
Phua also said there would be a special section for umrah packages, adding that MATTA was happy with the positive response to umrah packages at the previous fair.
Some 100,000 visitors are expected at the fair, which will be a slight increase from the 92,491 visitors recorded for the September fair.
The 2017 MATTA Fair will be held at the PWTC from March 17 to 19, next year.