KUALA LUMPUR: Good times are back as more than 30,000 people thronged the Matta International Travel Fair on the second day for bargain tour packages and discounted tickets.
It’s a success that has justified decisions of several governments to send their official tourism authorities to participate in a bid to lure Malaysian tourists.
Three new foreign tourism boards which took part in the fair this year are from Nepal, Spain and Turkey.
They joined 10 other national tourism boards which had participated in the fair in the past few years.
The Macau Tourism Board took part again to lure Malaysians to join in the revelry celebrating their 50th Grand Prix anniversary which begins on Nov 8.
Paradise Travel executive chairman Pardip Kumar said the fair was a success as more local travel firms were taking part while national tourism bodies had come to recognise its effectiveness.
Pardip said his company recorded double its tour package sales to destinations like Nepal, India and Bali compared with the previous fair in March.
Mauritius, Maldives and China packages also reported good sales, he said.
Singapore Airlines reported brisk sales of all its available seats to destinations such as Christchurch and Auckland in New Zealand and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia for the period from Nov 25 to Jan 5.
Though Malaysia Airlines did not sell low airfares, it reported brisk sales of its Golden Holiday packages sold by Reliance.
Reliance executive director Tan Sin Chong said although Malaysia Airlines did not offer low fares, loyal Reliance customers continued to flock to the company’s counters throughout the day.
“We did not mislead anyone that our counter was a MAS ticketing counter.
As a MAS agent, the company had the right to put up the MAS logo and promote its Golden Holidays packages at this year’s fair.
Grandlotus Travel director Thanga Velu said that Thai International attracted a large crowd to his counter with bargains to Madras at RM900 return via Bangkok.
“We have also been getting a lot of bookings for tour packages to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
“This year’s fair is a sell-out for tour packages,” he added.
The fair’s organising chairman Ronald Chan said that feedback he had received from travel and tour operators was encouraging, with increasing sales recorded at the fair.
“Overall, people have come here on a shopping spree to get superb bargains,” he said.
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