Event producer, Siti Nurezlea Amzah, 35, wanted somewhere different to spend her holidays this year. Normally, she would opt for a Southeast Asian country as her destination, but this year, like the over 20,000 visitors who thronged the Malaysia Domestic Tourism Fair (MDTF), a local site was her choice.
"I wanted to travel locally because I always had the mindset that visiting foreign countries was great for travelling, while local sites were reserved for the weekend. That was until I visited Langkawi and Pangkor last year. I realised how nice these places were. I found a great bargain here. I will definitely come here again next year and I hope they have more to offer," she said, adding she was planning a trip to Sipadan, Sabah.
The three-day fair at the Putra World Trade Centre, which ended yesterday, saw the number of visitors doubled compared to its inaugural edition last year.
MDTF organising chairman Datuk Shamsul Falak Kadir said the increased number of visitors was due to the improving economy, more publicity for the event and creative marketing. Shamsul said the global economic downturn and the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic last year saw the industry take a bit of a fall.
"But people are travelling domestically again. A verbal survey on sales I conducted also showed it has been good. There is a lot of response to the packages offered. It can be better though. I feel a lot of people don't realise the new products the country has," he told the New Straits Times.
Seri Pacific Hotels and Resorts sales and marketing general manager Ammelia Mohd Ali shared similar sentiments. The high-end boutique resort made more than RM60,000 worth of sales in the last three days which was encouraging as she considers it to be a "new kid on the block". This was also the first time the group had participated in such a fair. "I hope there will be more promotion of the fair next year though because I feel a lot more visitors will come," she said.
Ping Anchorage managing director Alex Lee, a tour operator, said the MDTF gave newcomers a platform to be noticed. MDTF, he said, would boost the local tourism industry. "This is their second year and the results have been encouraging. If this is maintained, it will soon become a much-eagerly awaited event."
Source : NST
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