Top News Outbound travel unaffected as Malaysia goes to the poll in May By S Puvaneswary / Posted on 12 April, 2018 10:55 For some agents, there have not been cancellations for trips coinciding with the election (photo credit: Harris Hamdan/Shutterstock) Agents are confident that Malaysia’s upcoming 14th National General Election on May 9, which has been declared a public holiday, is unlikely to deter Malaysians’ outbound travel demand as it falls on a weekday and not over a long weekend. Nanda Kumar, managing director at Hidden Asia Travel & Tours, said: “We have not had any cancellations for tours running on the week of the general election. Our tours to Yogyakarta, Bali, Bangkok, Pattaya and South India are running as scheduled. For some agents, there have not been cancellations for trips coinciding with the election (photo credit: Harris Hamdan/Shutterstock) He added: “People have booked these tours at least two months ago and have taken leave from work. None of my clients have cancelled or changed the date of travel because it coincides with the general election.” Another agent, Cooper Huang, CEO at Malaysian Harmony Tours & Travel, said: “The election date does not coincide with the school holidays and (will take place during) a low season for travel. We have not had any request for change in booking due to the general election.” With the general election date finally fixed after months of speculation, it would afford better clarity for leisure and corporate travel planning, said Raaj Navaratnaa, general manager, New Asia Holiday Tours & Travel. He said: “There was a lot of uncertainty in the past (few months). We had enquiries in February and March from corporate clients asking us whether they could postpone the trip to a later date with a fee waiver on hotel bookings and airline tickets if the polling date clash with their event.” Other agents are also optimistic about that outbound travel demand will pick up soon, with Bobby Eng, general manager at Sunflower Holidays, already receiving new bookings for the coming school holiday season in June. Meanwhile, Malaysia-based carriers including AirAsia, as well as Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and sister carriers Firefly and MASwings, have announced the waiver of flight change fee for Malaysians with existing travel bookings that coincide with the polling day. “This is to allow Malaysians to fulfil their responsibility as voters,” MAS said in a statement.