KUALA LUMPUR: Large crowds thronged the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair 2005 yesterday, all on a same mission – to shop for the best holiday deal. Some of them even waited for hours before the doors were opened to visitors.
The event, held simultaneously here, in Penang, Kuching and Sabah, saw thousands of people queuing at the entrances of the exhibition halls at 8am.
Close to 10,000 visitors rushed into the exhibition hall at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre here within the first hour of the two-day event, which started at 10am.
With 225 travel agents taking part here, MAS general manager of sales Nick Phang said transactions were expected to reach RM100mil.
He said MAS was offering attractive holiday packages to Australia this year, as it was a popular destination among Malaysians.
“Based on last year’s fair, Australia is one of the popular destinations so we have come out with attractive packages this year,” he said.
By evening, statistics showed that a total of 43,000 visitors turned up at the four venues and total sales, excluding Golden Holiday packages, stood at RM46mil.
Among the most popular holiday destinations were London, Perth, Auckland, Sydney, Seoul, Padang, Bangkok and Denpasar.
The atmosphere at the Penang International Sports Arena took an “entertaining” turn when four eye-catching Thai cross-dressers attracted attention at the booth of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The four enthralled the crowd with a Thai cabaret show and the “showgirls” from Hunsa Café in Haadyai will perform again today at noon and 8pm.
Held for the first time outside Kuala Lumpur, the fair in Penang features 156 booths occupied by 32 travel agents and operators, Tourism Malaysia, five overseas national tourism organisations and three hotels.
The event in Kuching is held at the Permata Exhibition Centre while in Kota Kinabalu, it is at the Sabah Trade Centre.
The fair, which ends today, is open from 10am to 10pm and the entrance fee is RM2 for visitors aged 12 years and above.
A portion of the money collected will be channelled to the Tsunami Relief Fund and other charitable organisations.
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