THOSE wanting to perform the haj or umrah are advised to go through government-recognised travel agents.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Perak Chapter chairman Chong Yu Ken said cheating cases had been reported involving fake pilgrimage packages offered by unscrupulous travel agents.
“For those who wish to do haj or umrah, it is important to go through the right channels.
“If you are booking through a Muslim travel agent, check that they are registered with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) on its website or with us to ensure they have Special Umrah Licence (LKU), ” he told a press conference after the launch of the Perak MATTA Fair at the Ipoh Convention Centre.
“Most consumers want cheap and good packages but be cautious if the tour fare is unbelievably much cheaper, especially those offered online, or through social media like Facebook or WhatsApp, ” he said.
“To ensure travellers are not cheated, our travel fair has a special pavilion promoting umrah packages, ” he added.
Chong said travel agencies were encouraged to have more packages that focus on experience rather than just sightseeing.
“Travellers are keen on tours that offer them interactive or life-changing experiences.
“People want to develop personal experiences with the communities they visit.
“They want more than just visiting places nowadays and would love to have cultural exchange or do something unique, ” he added.
He said Perak MATTA would be collaborating with its counterpart in Kedah and Penang to host the Asia Pacific Eco Tourism Conference in September next year.
“During the conference, we will be showcasing Royal Belum Forest where we will invite international speakers to talk about it.
“This is a big event that we are looking forward to as we can promote Perak as a must-go tourism destination in Malaysia, ” he added.
Teja assemblymen Sandrea Ng launched the three-day fair, which ended on Sunday, on behalf of the state tourism committee chairman Tan Kar Hing.
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