Matta Fair 2018 nets RM210m in sales

PETALING JAYA: The recently-concluded Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Fair attracted over 106,000 visitors between March 16 and 18, with a total sales value of RM210 million.

This is an improvement over the previous September 2017 fair, which recorded RM205 million in sales and had a total of 103,880 visitors.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said Asian and European countries continued to be the most popular destinations among visitors, with Japan topping the list, based on figures garnered through its Buyers' Contest.

He said Japan's popularity here has surged in recent years following the abolition of visa requirements in 2013, with 439,500 Malaysians visiting Japan in 2017 alone, up 11.5% from 394,268 the previous year.

He said other top destinations included the the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Turkey.

Tan said there was also a 5% increase in visitors choosing local destinations in Malaysia this year as compared to the previous year, with Negri Sembilan as the most popular choice.

"The rise in local travel could be due to Malaysians wanting to travel but are on a tight budget because of the economy. Also because promotions for domestic destinations have been growing.

"Negri Sembilan is popular for its beach resorts. Terengganu and Johor are also popular because of their islands and Legoland theme park, respectively. And of course there's also Sabah and Sarawak," he told theSun today.

Tan said the number of exhibitors for the Muslim travel sector had also increased this year, with more consumers turning to the fair for Umrah packages to avoid being cheated in the open market.

In total, 41 companies occupying 81 booths offering various Umrah and Haj packages took part in the fair, making Matta's Umrah Pavilion its biggest since its commencement in September 2015.

The 45th edition of the fair, which was held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), was also its biggest to date, with 1,353 exhibition booths and 254 organisations taking part.