Government AffairsMalaysia’s largest consumer travel fair is back after a two-year hiatus and the organisers are hoping for an enthusiastic response.

MATTA Fair sees come-back amidst optimism for domestic travel

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Visitors to the Fair would expect strict SOPs in place for their safety, said MATTA CEO Phua Tai Neng.
Visitors to the Fair would expect strict SOPs in place for their safety, said MATTA CEO Phua Tai Neng.

To satisfy the pent-up demand for travel, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) announced the MATTA Fair will be held from 20-21 November at the Putra World Centre in Kuala Lumpur. The last fair was held in September 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

MATTA CEO Phua Tai Neng said currently 248 booths have been taken up with participation from 64 organisations. “There is participation from almost all state tourism organisations, namely Sabah, Terengganu, Sarawak, Pahang, Selangor, Johor, Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan.

“Besides Tourism Malaysia, which is taking up 30 booths, we also have international tourism organisations from South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, Turkey and Uganda. These international tourism organisations want to promote their markets as they are anticipating the return of travel demand very soon,” said Phua. He added that there would be the usual travel companies, hotels and theme parks in the mix.

“With international borders not fully opened, and many countries not pushing yet for regular international travel and flight frequency updates, the demand would likely come from domestic travel…There is now pent-up demand due to increased public confidence from the public to travel safely and a desire to return to normalcy, not to mention the upcoming school holiday that is encouraging planning,” noted MATTA Hon Secretary-general Nigel Wong.

MATTA Hon Secretary-general Nigel Wong noted there is now pent-up demand due to increased public confidence from the public to travel safely and a desire to return to normalcy.
MATTA Hon Secretary-general Nigel Wong noted there is now pent-up demand due to increased public confidence from the public to travel safely and a desire to return to normalcy.

The upcoming MATTA Fair 2021's official partners include Sabah as Malaysia’s Favourite Destination, Malaysia Airlines the Official Airline, Legoland as Partner Theme Park and Gojo as e-hailing partner. MATTA is looking at 25,000 visitors as the estimated attendance, referenced from the scaled-down Cuti2 Malaysia Fair in April last year that was eventually cancelled.

The fair will offer free entry to the public and a 50% booth rental discount to help both public and tourism stakeholders. This 49th edition has been scaled down from three to two days and will only have two halls. 

Phua promised strict compliance with safety SOPs. Only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed entry, with face masks being mandatory and enforced physical distancing among exhibitors and visitors. Crowd control will be implemented, and more updates will be announced once booth participation has been confirmed.

Wong also said they did not make it a hybrid fair as that would require more resources from exhibitors, but there are future plans for virtual formats.

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