KUALA LUMPUR: Visitors can expect package tours, and not air tickets to be the best buys when the 16th Matta International Travel Fair opens at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today.
Destinations like Spain, Nepal and other parts of Europe will be aggressively marketed to tempt Malaysians to explore these newer destinations.
The Spain Tourism Board, which is taking part in the travel fair for the first time, had taken up 10 booths to lure travellers to the land of the Flamenco dance.
Within this region, Thailand will remain a key attraction with package tours inclusive of spa treatments.
Reliance Pacific Berhad group marketing director Tan Sin Chong said one of the most attractive buys would be the MAS Golden Holidays packages.
He said Reliance would be selling the comprehensive packages that cover all MAS destinations.
Organising chairman Ronald Chan said MAS would be selling package tours rather than just air tickets.
It will be unlike the last Matta fair in March where MAS air tickets were on sale at 50% discount.
This time MAS wont be able to do it as there are still about 12,000 travel vouchers floating in the market, said Chan after a press conference yesterday.
He said those who bought the air tickets during the March fair were not able to travel because of the outbreak of SARS then, adding that travel vouchers had been issued to allow the extension of travel until March 31 next year.
But many of the ticket buyers have yet to utilise the vouchers and its impossible for the airlines to gauge when these people will want to travel. Thus, to play it safe, they do not want to have overlaps in seat bookings, Chan said.
The theme of the fair Touching New Worlds, Breaking New Frontiers, Lets Go is to put travellers back in the travel mood.
There are also contests to boost the spirit. Visitors can expect to win air tickets to London and hotel stays throughout the country.
To make the fair more visitor-friendly, the organisers have also refined certain aspects of it. Visitors are now issued with a wristband for entry, and the walkways have been widened to allow better visibility of the booths.
Motorists are also advised to use an alternative route from Jalan Ipoh to enter the PWTC hall 1A to prevent a bottleneck at the main entrance.
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