Impatient vacationers flock to the travel fair


AFTER almost three years of confinement in Penang, B. Malathi and her family are ready to travel the world.

The last trip Malathi, 37, and her family took was to Medan, Indonesia in 2019.

“With Covid-19 still here, we won’t venture too far, but we definitely need this break,” she said.

While trying to restrict the travel destination to Bangkok in Thailand or Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Malathi recently went shopping for holiday packages with her parents and younger brother at the 2022 Malaysian Association of Agents Fair. Travel and Travel (MATTA) at Setia SPICE Arena in Bayan Baru, Penang.

Malathi, who works in procurement, said she was waiting for the fair to return as it allowed her to compare travel and tour packages.

She preferred organized trips because she would be traveling with her parents who are in their 60s.

Another holiday shopper, who wished to be known only as Tay, 47, was with his wife and son at the fair to pick out the best travel options for South Korea.

“At shows like this, we can see all of our options in one place. Sometimes we can even learn about destinations we may not have thought of or were unaware of,” he said.

The travel show, which took place last weekend, featured 160 booths manned by travel agents, state tourism organizations, hotels, theme parks, family attractions and cruise ship operators.

Penang MATTA Fair 2022 chairwoman Carolyn Leong said she hoped the fair would boost revenue for travel agents who had weathered the pandemic storm.

“We know it has had an impact on the tourism industry and with this event we hope to change that,” she said.

Chairman of the National Tourism and Creative Economy Committee Yeoh Soon Hin, who launched the fair, said it was wonderful to see the return of the fair after a two-year hiatus.

“Like many other travel fairs, the Penang MATTA fair is one of many ways to boost the tourism economy and allow consumers to discover the best travel deals, while generating opportunities for everyone in the world. ‘tourism ecosystem,’ he said.

Those who attended the fair had a chance to win 16 plane tickets offered in a raffle, including two tickets to Los Angeles, in the United States.

For every RM500 spent on domestic packages and every RM1,000 spent on international packages at the fair, customers were given the opportunity to enter the raffle.

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