Monday, July 02, 2007

Matta Fair Penang a hit with visitors Over 3,000 tour packages to domestic destinations sold

More than 3,000 packages to several local destinations under Tourism Malaysia’s Cuti-Cuti Malaysia promotion were sold, an increase by about 40% compared to last year.

“Langkawi and Taman Negara were especially popular. Instead of individuals, many families and groups of students purchased the packages this time around,” Tourism Malaysia assistant director (domestic promotion division) Norlizah Jahaya said before the close of the three-day fair last night.

She said this was an indication that Visit Malaysia Year 2007 was very successful.

The fair’s organising chairman Ann Tan said response from sponsors, exhibitors and visitors “exceeded all expectations”.

She said 35,000 had visited the fair by 4pm yesterday.

“I spoke to several exhibitors, including tourism authorities from Thailand and Taiwan, and they were all very pleased with the sales generated.

“The feedback from the Thai authorities was that Phuket and Koh Samui were favourite destinations among locals.

“Perhaps this is due to the 120,000 free Firefly flight tickets to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Koh Samui and Phuket,” Tan said.

She noted that more youngsters were seen at the fair compared to previous years.

Firefly Sdn Bhd marketing and communications head Lau Yin May said the queue for the free tickets started as soon as the fair opened on Friday.

She said more than 100,000 tickets were given out by yesterday evening.

“With such overwhelming response, FireFly will be offering more promotions for passengers in the coming months,” she said, adding that the Penang-based airline was looking forward to servicing more local destinations, including Johor Baru, Malacca, Alor Star and Subang.

The fair, participated by 73 exhibitors which took up 291 booths, was closed by state Tourism Development and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow.

Commenting on limousine drivers who had been issued summonses by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) for picking up foreign guests at the Penang International Airport, Teng said the state government would ask the Tourism Ministry to step in if the matter could not be resolved.

He said he would attend a meeting between the department and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) on July 7.

Matta Penang chapter transport committee chairman Johari Shafie had said that limousine drivers hired by Matta members had been mistaken for illegal touts by the department which began conducting operations at the airport on April 1.

Source : STAR
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