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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2023, which will be held from March 17 to 19, is making the big shift to the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) in the post pandemic travel season.

Branded as the fun travel fair paired with food and beverages as well as cultural and arts shows, the 52nd MATTA 2023 is expected to draw 250,000 visitors and RM400mil in sales.

Its organising chairman Rocky Kho said that the larger venue at Mitec – which was 30% bigger - will create a more spacious atmosphere for people to enjoy while deciding on their travel plans.

“This fair will showcase more interesting destinations with the participation of various foreign tourism boards.

"For example, Saudi Arabia is a first-time participant and one of our featured destinations is offering the country's tourism not only to Muslim tourists but also to non-Muslims.

“Malaysia is also one of the few countries who are offered one-year multiple entry visas by the Saudi government," he told reporters Friday (Jan 27).

Kho added those planning to perform their umrah can be assured that only licensed travel agents verified by MATTA will be participating at the fair.

MATTA Fair 2023 organising committee Datuk Hamzah Rahmat said the main reason they had to switch venues from the World Trade Centre was due to shortage in space after the closure of Hall 1 and 2.

He also spoke about how people were more aware about purchasing travel insurance post pandemic as they understood the necessity and importance of it.

“The world is moving forward, and almost all countries are open but still cautious about health issues by taking necessary measures.

“Outbound travel from Malaysia has also increased tremendously. Inbound travel for Malaysia also looks good,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mitec chief executive officer Mala Dorasamy said that they are planning to offer a flat parking rate for visitors during the fair.

She added that shuttle services are also provided to Mitec, and they were working with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and shopping malls to accommodate the extra parking requirements.

The MATTA Fair March 2023 is spread across Hall 2 to 4 (Level 1), Hall 6 to 8 (Level 2) and Hall 9 to 11 (level 3) of Mitec with 1,313 booths and 102 tour and travel agents participating.

The 12 state tourism authorities present at the fair are Perlis, Kedah, Langkawi, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sarawak and Sabah.

The national tourism organisations from Dubai, Guam, Hong Kong India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Maldives, Saudi, Thailand, Uganda and Kyrgyzstan are also present at the fair.

Shuttle services are also provided at designated pick-up/drop-off points within the vicinity of Mitec near Hentian Putra, KL High Court, Masjid Wilayah, Miti and Matrade.

There will be a shuttle service from Sunway Putra Mall, whereby those coming to the fair can park their cars.

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