Malaysians flocking to Europe

OUTBOUND agents in Kuala Lumpur are seeing double-digit growth in demand for longhaul tour packages, especially to Central and Eastern Europe, this year compared to last.

Mayflower Acme Tours deputy general manager Abdul Rahman Mohamed, who has seen demand for tours to Central and Eastern Europe this Chinese New Year increase by 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, attributed this to the favourable exchange rate and cheaper total package rates this time round.

Parlo Tours general manager Kerry Tam also noticed the stronger demand from Malaysian tourists this year for tours to the continent, with a 50 per cent growth in sales over 2010 for her Central and Eastern European packages.

“The demand last year didn’t start picking up until the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair in March,” she said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Harmony Tours & Travel CEO Cooper Huang said overall demand for his tour packages this year had dropped by 20 per cent from 2010, due to the Chinese New Year period coming too soon after the year-end school holidays.

However, Huang still saw a 30 per cent growth in sales of tour packages to Central Europe as well as to “exotic” destinations such as Turkey and Egypt.

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