MATTA Fair 2009 PWTC Kuala Lumpur - Day 2


MATTA
Fair 2009
PWTC Kuala Lumpur: Day 2


The MATTA Fair 2009 day two, which was on a Saturday (5th September) had double the crowd crammed into the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. People came in droves from all directions of the fair. You could see families, travelers, foreigners and even those fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. You see, the MATTA Fair in Malaysia is the most popular travel fair yearly where amazing bargains await you. Some of them are simply crazy prices where discounts of up to 50% for travel packages are offered.

Matta Fair 2009 - Tourism Macau's Double Decker Bus

Outside the Seri Pacific Hotel where one of the main entrances to the MATTA Fair was, a bright red double decker bus splashed with promotions from the Macau Tourism Board was parked there. One could not miss this when walking by and you are invited to go in and even up to the roof of the bus before making your way into the travel fair.

Matta Fair 2009 - Guests making bookings

Travel counters were buzzing with activity and the staff were busy selling packages to bargain hunters. I walked up to one of the counters to inquire about a package to the Maldives and was only made to wait as all the sales people were just too busy. Looking around, I ended up just strolling around the fair grounds with an eagle eye on the banners above each of the counters.

Matta Fair 2009 - Teenage traveler booking flight tickets from Mayflower

Finally after much walking around the MATTA Fair in hall 1, 2 and 3 I decided to head back to the Seri Pacific Hotel entrance were some of the big travel agents had extra large booths. The one that caught my eye was the bright red Mayflower Travel booth. I could not help but notice the promotion they had running.

Matta Fair 2009 - Mayflower Travel & Win promotion

Not only was the grand prize of a Nissan Grand Livina impressive, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes were equally interesting. Because I had already been here on day 1 of the MATTA Fair and asked about their promotion, it seemed like I was getting closer to booking that trip from Mayflower Travels.

Anyway, I had a major decision to make about my travel package and thought that I might just push it till the final day since there were so many travel agents participating at this years MATTA Fair. 830 booths to be exact, all spread out over 3 main halls and the main entrance of the Seri Pacific Hotel.

Matta Fair 2009 - Sabah Tourism Board booth

Walking back into the MATTA Fair, this time I decided to explore the other halls as well. From the main hall which is hall 3, the first thing you see on entering is Tourism Malaysia with over 50 sub-booths. Further in, Sabah Tourism Board (STB) had a fairly large area with 27 booths promoting Sabah Borneo and I made a stop over here to check out some of the adventure packages here as Sabah has always fascinated me.

Matta Fair 2009 - Pre-booking packages

For those who do not know, the travel destinations are broken up into 3 halls at the MATTA Fair. Hall 3 is for local/domestic holidays and packages and international packages are located over the river via bridge at Hall 1 and 2. Crossing the bridge, I entered Hall 1 and it was massively decorated with all kinds of travel companies with beautiful props.

Matta Fair 2009 - Tourism Australia booth

Even Tourism Australia has a booth at MATTA Fair 2009 and some of the staff were dressed to play the part. Extremely friendly and giving out various booklets on Australia, you could see locals rushing to take whatever looked interesting. Heck, it's been 11 years since I last set foot in Australia so I grabbed a few booklets. Who knows, Australia could be in my near travel plans.

Matta Fair 2009 - Local Malaysian Muslim girls with Mickey hats

At this years MATTA Fair 2009, there were all kinds of promoters. Some local Muslim girls with headscarf were even wearing Mickey Mouse hats promoting Hong Kong Disneyland! They looked extremely cheerful handing out flyers and even took the time to smile and pose for me.

Matta Fair 2009 - Hong Kong Disneyland promotion

The Hong Kong Disneyland booth was pretty impressive too. They were promoting this year's Halloween and had a fairly large mock up of the Disney Castle. Only thing that was missing was the real Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Matta Fair 2009 - Taiwan superstar Jolin Tsai

Exploring hall 2, I was suddenly pushed aside as travel staff and guest were hurrying past me towards a mini stage. Turning around, it was someone famous from Taiwan who was on stage. Not that I am a fan of Taiwanese music, I asked a girl holding her phone up high next to me attempting to take a picture, who was that. Her reply, 'That's Jolin Tsai, you don't know who she is?' happily snapping pictures, she then turned to me and said 'Jolin Tsai is a very famous Taiwanese singer'. Then only I remembered that I have heard of her a few years ago.

Matta Fair 2009 - All kinds of cameras taking pictures of Jolin Tsai

Apparently Tourism Taiwan and some of the local travel agents at this years MATTA Fair 2009 had arranged for Jolin Tsai's appearance here at the PWTC. There must have been at least 300 people crowding the stage where Jolin Tsai was standing. Looking around, it seemed like 290 of the people were taking pictures of Jolin with all kinds of cameras.

Matta Fair 2009 - Malaysian superstar Mawi and wife

Continuing my quest for a Maldives package, I passed Tourism Korea and what luck as I saw local Malaysian Superstar Mawi (Asmawi bin Ani, winner of the Third Season of Malaysia's popular reality show, Akedemi Fantasia) and his wife were doing an autograph signing session. Seems like Mawi has been tied to some of the Korean brands and have been invited to make an appearance and sign autographs. People from all walks of life were seen lining up. I even saw an elderly Chinese lady go up to Mawi, shake his hand and got his autograph.

Matta Fair 2009 - Prices of the F&B

Soon it was about 4.00pm and I had almost forgotten about lunch. Engrossed with the super deals there, I made my way out of the hall to find a make shift cafeteria. Not much to say about the prices but at the MATTA Fair, just expect double of even triple the prices you pay usually.

Maria Cordero making a special appearance at Mayflower booth

Getting back to the MATTA Fair in Hall 2, some of the staff even resorted to costume dressing as a gimmick to promote some of the travel packages. Well, most of the popular packages at this years MATTA Fair 2009 were Japan, Korea and even Indonesia. China used to be very big a few years ago but didn't look like it was being heavily promoted though many of the Chinese travel agents were seen selling the packages.

Matta Fair 2009 - Model of the Airbus A380 as a gift when you buy packages

There was even a small talk given by some of the travel companies. I saw one Chinese travel company actually having a little seminar for about 15 people where the speaker was talking in Mandarin about traveling in Egypt! How about that, educating the travelers before they go. I think that is an excellent idea.

Matta Fair 2009 - Concerts and shows throughout the day

There was even a main stage area where shows were going on every hour with various acts from overseas. Singing, break dancing, traditional shows were on the itinerary throughout the 3 days at the MATTA Fair 2009.

Matta Fair 2009 - Mayflower Travel staff

I walked, I stopped, I asked and so far nothing about the Maldives looked attractive inside, so I made my way out to the Seri Pacific Hotel entrance. The place was swarming with staff dressed in red as it was the colour of the Mayflower Travel group.

Matta Fair 2009 - Mayflower Travel, outdoor area

This years MATTA Fair had an entrance of RM3.00 (US$0.86) but strategically located just next to the Seri Pacific Hotel entrance, you need not pay to visit the Mayflower Travel area. They had booked the main entrance into the PWTC building so the first company you would see on entering would be Mayflower Travel.

Matta Fair 2009 - Seri Pacific Hotel entrance

I spent another 20 minutes talking to some of the Mayflower Travel staff about my Maldives package and the best deal they could offer me was a 4D/3N ground arrangement only package at RM1,318 (US$376.00) per person. Flights were pretty much controlled my Malaysia Airlines where it would be about RM1,500 (US$428.00) return per person.

So I had to think really hard about this as the offer was only valid for the MATTA Fair 2009 duration of 3 days. It was day 2 and the clock was ticking....... Did I buy it? No I did not. The pressure of committing the booking was tremendous as the over all price for a 4N/5D to Maldives was about RM6,500 (US$1,858) and it was quite an amount. I thought maybe I would keep it for next year instead.


MATTA Fair 2009:
Tun Razak Hall 1, 2 & 3
Putra World Trade Centre,
41 Jalan Tun Ismail
Kuala Lumpur 50480
Malaysia
Tel: 6 03 9287 6881 / 6 03 4043 3999


Mayflower Travels
Mayflower Acme Tours
Tel: 603 9223 2888

~ jrhogan

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