More Malaysians plan holidays earlier

Malaysians will normally buy and lock in all their holiday plans in March, especially when Matta holds the 1st of its series of exhibitions during the year

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MORE Malaysians are planning their holidays in advance, locking and purchasing packages much earlier in the year, even if they are travelling only in December.

Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) sales head Roslan Ismail said Malaysians will normally buy and lock in all their holiday plans in March, especially when the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) holds the first of its series of exhibitions during the year.

“September is usually for ‘leftovers’, like people who haven’t bought their packages and did not plan their travels earlier, which often means fewer buyers than March.

“Often, these trips are within October to December, sometimes even up till Chinese New Year,” he said at the Matta media briefing yesterday.

He added that those who buy their packages in September are people with a tight deadline for holiday planning, but it is also for a certain interest — their fascination with winter.

“That is why usually in November and December, the flights are often fully occupied. Similarly, due to the timing of these packages, they are likely to be more expensive than deals available in March,” he said.

Roslan said this is why the March Matta exhibition is much larger, and sales are expected to slow down during the September exhibition.

“The recent March event recorded a 296% increase in sales, which is close to RM100 million. Matta in March is generally much bigger than in September, however for this edition, we are also looking at around 300% growth as well,” he said.

He added that MAB has also recently added two new routes to Brisbane and Chongqing to its network, but did not disclose future route plans.

The airline company has been chosen as Matta’s official airline partner for the upcoming exhibition that will be held between Sept 7 and Sept 9, 2018.

Customers visiting MAB’s booths at the exhibition will find up to 30% discounts on fares to all destinations within the company’s network.

Meanwhile, MAB’s subsidiary Fly- Firefly Sdn Bhd will also offer deals of up to 20% discount to any of its destinations and 40% for group bookings for over nine passengers.

Last month, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the study on a suitable mechanism to control domestic airfares is currently being finalised.

Earlier this year, Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the association has called for domestic airfares to be capped at no more than 1.5 to two times of normal fares during peak seasons.

The high domestic airfares have stifled domestic tourism especially to East Malaysia where travellers have to travel by air, and is also important for those whose hometowns are there.

Similarly, Matta has also called for the difference in Passenger Service Charge or airport tax between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 to be maintained.