Best time to travel as school holidays, autumn, winter is coming

The perfect time for travel is around the corner, with the upcoming school holidays and the pleasant autumn and winter weather.

Moreover, people are now willing to spend on travelling rather than keeping their money in banks, said Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) Sabah Chapter Chairman Vincent Sia.

“Even though travel packages are no longer priced around RM1,000 or RM2,000, and are now between RM3,000 and RM4,000, travellers have no hesitations  due to their understanding of the package’s value and concept, said Sia.

He was announcing the upcoming MCTA’s Malaysia International Travel Mart (MITM) on Aug 19-20 from 10am to 9pm at Suria Sabah.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew is expected to officiate the travel fair on Saturday.

“Despite the increased prices of travel packages due to inflation, the earning margin for travel agents remains modest, ranging from three to five per cent. Our focus is on delivering valuable travel experiences,” he said.

Based on recent trends, even packages priced around RM20,000 are accepted by customers, he noted.

“This shift isn’t merely due to pandemic savings; it reflects a shift in customer mentality. People are more open to spending as they view their money as a resource to be used, rather than left idle in the banks.

“This is a trend observed even in China, where people spent on packages up to RM10,000. The travel agents are adapting to this shift, offering high-quality food, accommodation and services,” said Sia.

This weekend travel fair will feature 48 booths, including community-based tourism (CoBT) operators.

“CoBT operators are expected to gain from the increasing popularity of outdoor camping, making this an ideal opportunity to showcase their products.

“We’re anticipating an attendance of over 10,000 people per day, and we hope to achieve a sales target of RM20 million compared pre-pandemic event that generated around RM10 million,” said Sia.

He expected China, Taiwan, Europe, South Korea and Japan to be among the popular destinations due the availability of direct flights.

“Obtaining a travel visa to China has also been simplified, as applicants no longer need to make appointment for their thumbprints to be taken effective from August until end of December this year,” he said.

He said the visitors to the travel fair will also have the chance to win lucky draw prizes valued at over RM100,000 courtesy of Malaysia Aviation Group.

Additionally, cultural dance performances by the Chung Hwa Kindergarten and Kota Kinabalu High School, as well as blood donation activity targeting 100 donors, are also part of the event.

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