Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Exhibitors ring up RM100m in sales at Matta Fair

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a hot seat of a different kind at the Matta Fair, many hot seats in fact. So many people came looking for travel bargains, there was no time for the chairs to cool down as visitors sat down, chose their holiday package, paid the deposit and made room for the next customer.

Some 90,000 visitors thronged the Putra World Trade Centre during the three-day travel fair, which ended yesterday. So it would be fair to describe it as a resounding success. An estimated RM100 million in sales was chalked up, RM15 million more than anticipated.

The organisers had prepared 70,000 goody bags but they ran out at noon yesterday with nine hours to go before the fair closed its doors at 9pm.

Chairman of the organising committee Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said: "Many people are coming and actually buying. This shows that the economy is good. People are travelling."

Exhibitors at the fair said they wouldn’t mind if the fair stayed open longer. Most did up to 40 per cent more business than last year, and some exceeded their sales targets by 300 per cent.

Justin Toh, from Johor’s State Tourism Organisation, said sales were very encouraging. "This was a good time for us to tell everyone that after the floods Johor is back to normal."

Langkawi Tourism Action Council promotions and marketing manager Suziana W. Othman said this was their best Matta fair ever based on sales revenue. They are looking at RM1million in sales, 300 per cent over their target and RM330,000 more than they did last September.

Snthia Lim of Globalite Travel and Tours said her company exceeded its target by 40 per cent. She said their best selling packages were to Hong Kong and China.

The only real criticism of this year’s fair was the lack of Muslim packages to countries like Japan and South Korea.

Assessor officer Wan Nornaniza Wan Zakaria, 26, who wanted to buy a package to South Korea, said not many tour operators offered Muslim packages.

"Those who did were charging almost RM1,000 more just for halal food", she said.

Mohd Khalid said that since there were not many operators offering Muslim packages, the prices were not competitive.

The fair was supported by Tourism Malaysia and the New Straits Times was the official newspaper. The next Matta Fair will be held from Sept 7 to 9.

Source : NST
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