Cheap airfares driving Malaysian travel boom

AIRFARE promotions by local and foreign carriers are driving sales of Malaysian agents’ ground packages, ahead of the series of outbound fairs in Kuala Lumpur this month as well as the school holidays in May.

MATTA, Mayflower Travel and Reliance Travel are all holding travel fairs in the middle of March.

Zenmax Travel & Tours executive director Steven Choo said he was seeing strong demand for Australia and Europe, mainly from parents visiting their children studying overseas. He said the current airfare promotions allow savings of RM1,000 (US$328) or more.

Choo added that demand was also swelling for Hong Kong, China and Macau, especially during the May school holidays and the last week of August, which coincides with the Hari Raya and National Day public holidays.

Nantha Travel & Tours managing director M Nantha Gopal said his company had been experiencing strong demand for regional destinations such as Bali and Bandung in Indonesia, Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand, as well as Siem Reap and Hanoi, mainly over the coming school holidays.

Gopal noted that Malaysian travellers have more purchasing power now. “Last year, there were a lot of couples travelling. This year, they are travelling with their children. They are also opting for better hotels, and do not mind paying more for comfort.”

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