KUALA LUMPUR: The 51st addition of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2022 held from Sept 2 to 4 is back with a bang, with 28,000 visitors expected to throng the event, exceeding the initial set target of 25,000 visitors.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang in his speech said they had an overwhelming response on Friday (Sept 2) with 9,000 visitors at Malaysia's largest consumer travel fair.
"We are anticipating between 27,000 to 28,000 visitors and RM45mil in sales as the fair offers great opportunities for consumers to look for the value-for-money travel packages.
"Based on the total number of booths, 40% has been assigned to domestic and incoming exhibitors while the remaining has been allocated to outbound exhibitors.
"We received an overwhelming number of requests for the fair but unfortunately we were unable to fulfil all of them because there were only 536 booths available. By day three, we were already oversubscribed.
"We have already begun to enhance the fair's size and capacity in conjunction with the anticipated full reopening of more borders and the increase in airline capacity due to the overwhelming demand for booths and increasing number of exhibitors who wish to participate in future MATTA Fairs," he said at its launch here at the World Trade Centre on Saturday (Aug 3).
The fair was officiated by Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib, who represented Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
Langkawi is Malaysia's favourite destination for this Matta Fair.
In conjunction with the event, Nasaruddin also launched Langkawi's new branding "Best Wey" tagline.
During his speech, Nasaruddin said that tourist numbers for the island look promising with more Malaysian and international tourists ramping up their holiday plans.
"We are pleased to announce that 1.1 million tourists were recorded in the first half of the year and by the end of the year we anticipate this to be 2.5 million.
"The new Langkawi tagline 'Best Wey' appeals to local domestic and young travellers who can enjoy an array of activities and products the island has to offer," he said.
He added that as they have entered a new era for tourism with its challenges and opportunities, Lada and the island's tourism players are geared up to revive the tourism industry to meet the demands of consumers in the endemic phase.
The MATTA Fair Sept 2022 is spread across Hall 3, 4, 5 and 5 Foyer of the World Trade Centre with 536 booths offering a myriad of travel deals.
Participation of more than 270 organisations which includes 22 National Tourism Organisations (NTO) and State Tourism Offices (STO) and more than 248 exhibitors comprising travel agents, tour operators, airlines, hotel, resorts, theme parks and travel-related businesses.
Twelve state tourism are present at the fair including Perlis, Kedah, Langkawi, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sarawak and Sabah.
The tourism departments of Turkey, India, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Japan (Taipe, Tohoku & Tokyo prefectures) are also present at the fair.
Japan is one of the last nations to eliminate the pre-entry Covid-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated passengers with at least one booster dose, effective Sept 7, proving the tourism industry is on its way to recovery.
Malaysia Airlines will be offering up to 45% discounts while Firefly will offer 31% discounts on airfares to all destinations in Malaysia and selected international destinations within the Malaysia Airlines and Firefly network.
Royal Caribbean International is the favourite cruise ship and local mobility app provider GOJO is also a partner for this fair.