by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS
The upcoming Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Fair is expected to generate between RM200 million and RM205 million this year.
Matta honorary secretary general Nigel Wong said the fair, to be held in March, will continue to be the nation’s largest travel fair, with 215 tourism companies having confirmed their participation and will be occupying 1,324 booths.
“In the upcoming fair, we target similar numbers as we have had in the last edition, between RM200 million and RM205 million in turnover, and break 100,000 in total visitors at least,” he said.
During its previous September 2017 fair, Matta recorded RM205 million in sales turnover and a total of 103,880 visitors.
Matta CEO Phua Tai Neng said the Muslim travel sector is seeing a healthy growth and should be leveraged on with the resources provided by MasterCard-CrescentRating’s Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017.
“Japan’s GMTI has compiled resources for other organisations to cater to and leverage on the lucrative market, not only to attract Malaysians but also the rest of the world,” he said.
According to the index, the market is expected to reach RM893.2 billion by the year 2020.
The 45th edition of the travel fair will feature 1,324 booths in seven halls: Hall 1, 1M, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Linkway of Putra World Trade Centre.
Halls 1, 2, 3 and the Linkway will feature 1,027 international exhibitors, while halls 4 and 5 will be occupied by 237 domestic exhibitors’ booths, and hall 1M will accommodate 60 booths specialising in umrah packages.
For its September fair last year, Matta recorded a total of 228 participating organisations and 1,315 booths.
Matta Fair March 2018’s official partners are Japan as it’s Asia’s favourite destination, Malaysia Airlines Bhd as its official airline, Desaru Coast and Legoland Malaysia Resort as Malaysia’s favourite theme parks, Royal Caribbean International as official cruise and Merchantrade Asia the fair’s official money changer.
The association also plans to partner with Grab Malaysia as the e-hailing partner for the fair.
The fair will be held on March 16-18, 2018, with an admission fee of RM4 per person and free for children below 12 years old.