KUALA LUMPUR: Well set-up pavilions stood out yesterday in a sea of 776 booths which were competing head-on for attention and business as they offered tours and travel bargains.
Three outstanding pavilions at the Matta International Trade Fair at Putra World Trade Centre here were the Macau Government Tourist Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Spain Tourism Board.
The Macau pavilion sported a racetrack and a winning podium complete with a backdrop of the country's famous landmark the ruins of St Paul.
Macau, that has been the Formula 3 race venue for the last 50 years, proudly showcased icons like Michael Schumacher, his brother Ralf and other international racers who have burned the tracks in Macau.
Many visitors stopped in their tracks to admire the set-up and along the way picked up some travel information on this Special Administrative Region of China.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has always lured people to its booths.
Its director for Malaysia and Brunei Sommas Siriwong said they took up eight booths this time to attract the crowd.
Thailand was the only country in the fair that had its traditional dancers performing at the pavilion.
Spain was also an attraction with its red and yellow tile-like walls surrounded all of its 10 booths complete with a lounge to greet visitors.
The Spain pavilion clinched the RM1,500 prize money for the best design.
Numerous contests and events have indirectly boost sales at the fair as well.
Reliance Travel that allowed its customers to win up to RM1,000 daily by charging their purchases to MasterCard, gave other travel operators some stiff competition.
A customer, Pang Chen Foon who won the RM1,000 yesterday for purchasing the eight-day Guilin tour to China, said she had always been keen to enter contests besides looking for good bargains.
However, Matta president Tunku Datuk Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah acknowledged that certain parts of the exhibition halls had walkways that were not carpeted and were left bare.
He also commented that there were not enough performances to entertain the crowd as many troupes had declined to perform.
Its vice-president Ronald Chan has been lamenting all these years that with the crowd getting bigger with each fair, the space at PWTC was just not able to accommodate everyone and everything.
We have been trying to tell the Government that if we want to be a world-class meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions centre, then we need to have a bigger venue and better facilities,'' said Chan.
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