Destinations“Fear spreads faster than coronavirus,” says MATTA president

First ever MATTA domestic travel fair to go ahead

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From left: Roslan Ismail, head of sales, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Tan Kok Liang, MATTA president, Dato’ Dr Ammar Bin Abd Ghapar, senior director of domestic and events, Tourism Malaysia and Nigel Wong, honorary Sec‐Gen of MATTA at the press conference.
From left: Roslan Ismail, head of sales, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Tan Kok Liang, MATTA president, Dato’ Dr Ammar Bin Abd Ghapar, senior director of domestic and events, Tourism Malaysia and Nigel Wong, honorary Sec‐Gen of MATTA at the press conference.

KUALA LUMPUR - To fill in the gap vacated in March by the biannual MATTA Fair that has been moved to May 1‐3, 2020, a new initiative has been launched.

In view of the current consumer sentiment, it is now the best time to hold a new MATTA Fair exclusively for domestic tourism that facilitates Malaysian holidaymakers to enjoy the many attractions and safe havens within the country, and for service providers to switch focus from inbound market to domestic,– Datuk Tan Kok Liang, MATTA president

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has announced the first ever MATTA Fair Cuti Cuti Malaysia to be held on April 4-5 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

This, said Datuk Tan Kok Liang, MATTA president, is their contribution to the recovery of the local tourism industry after it was hit by cancellations from the China market due to the coronavirus.

“In view of the current consumer sentiment, it is now the best time to hold a new MATTA Fair exclusively for domestic tourism that facilitates Malaysian holidaymakers to enjoy the many attractions and safe havens within the country, and for service providers to switch focus from inbound market to domestic,” he added.

Tan pointed out that both inbound and domestic tourism are pillars of the tourism industry with the former targetted to earn RM100 billion (US$24.14 billion) in foreign exchange this year and the latter just as much from local consumer spending. He felt that any shortfall in inbound market could be replaced by domestic, as services rendered to foreign and local tourists are similar.

“Tourism products and tour packages to be offered at the MATTA Fair Cuti Cuti Malaysia will also appeal greatly to citizens of ASEAN countries, as 69% of all foreign tourists to Malaysia are from South-east Asia.

“In addition, we have a sizeable number of foreigners from all over the world working or residing in Malaysia and they too would be shopping for domestic offerings,” said Tan.

He notes that tourists can enjoy peace of mind while travelling within Malaysia as the government had taken all necessary measures and which has been highly praised by the World Health Organisation, WHO.

“Staging a successful domestic travel fair will serve as the best testament that Malaysia is safe for all visitors and this message should be conveyed to the world by all responsible media and tourism players.

“Regrettably, those fixated only on the negative have only been successful in spreading doom and gloom, and fear spreads faster than coronavirus,” concluded Tan.

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