Matta Fair Malaysia - 10 Questions Answered


This article on Matta Fair Malaysia - 10 Questions Answered is for the consumers or even vendors who are unsure or need more information about Malaysia's largest travel fair which takes place twice a year at the Putra World Trace Centre in Kuala Lumpur. The first fair is usually around March while the second fair is held around September.

The objective of this is to have a better understanding for the mainstream consumers, especially when they need the additional information. Foreign travel companies are also interested to participate and here, you will get an overall idea of Malaysia's largest travel fair.

What it looks like inside the Matta Fair
1. What is the Matta Fair? 

The Matta Fair is Malaysia's largest travel fair that is held twice a year on a grand scale in Kuala Lumpur city at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) and over three days from Friday to Sunday. Smaller scale state level Matta Fairs are also held on different times of the year around Malaysia, but these are very small compared to the main fair. 

2. When is the Matta Fair Held? 

The main Matta Fair is usually held twice a year on March and also on September for three days over the weekend. The timings are well planned, especially targeting consumers who want to travel during the mid year and year end school holidays and festive seasons. 

3. Who goes to the Matta Fair? 

The consumers that go there are usually those wanting to know more about a destination, what the package offers and other details. Many also target these fairs for special deals from travel agents and also airlines where prices are slashed and only applicable during the travel fair. Overall, an estimate 100,000 people will visit the travel fair that is held over three days here. 

4. Best time to visit the Matta Fair? 

The best time to visit is always on the first day of the fair which is Friday, this will ensure that the place is not over crowded compared to the weekends which can easily get super crowded. A good time on Friday is also just before lunch time when it is not as crowded and when the vendors are all charged up to attend to you. 

Alternatively, there are consumers who will go for all three days and end up buying on the last day just before the fair ends. Sometimes, vendors may even slash prices of certain packages by 20% to 30% or even throw in extra freebies, just to close the sale. This however, is very subjective but in my experience, I have seen this happen before. 

5. What do people look for at the Matta Fair? 

While the main thing that consumers look for is the best Matta Fair promotion packages, for FIT (Free Independent Travelers) or Group Travel. Others meanwhile, head here to decide on where they want to go, therefore they will visit interesting booths and look at the prices. On interviewing a few people over the last few Matta Fairs, some of the visitors even told me that they come to the fair to collect the brochures or leaflets just to get an idea and comparison and then they go back and book online. 

On the international side, most consumers that visit are aged over 30, possibly for family travel, retired couples or group travel to exotic or far destinations. Most of these consumers buy a full package with all included which is airport pick up, hotel check in, guided tours and the works. They have the money therefore will just pay for the entire hassle free vacation. Usually trips to America, Europe, Africa, South America and Luxury Cruises are sought after packages for this group.

Visitors at the recent Matta Fair March 2016
6. Is the Matta Fair really cheap? 

Many may think so, but in reality, I don't think so. All because the international and local Online Travel Agents or OTA's have taken a large piece of the cake by offering really cheap packages compared to travel fairs. It really depends what you are going for, and also depending on how much information you need. 

Also with the entry of Airbnb to the online community, this has also taken a huge piece of the cake from the younger generation. Airbnb is a website for people to list, find, and rent lodging and it has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries to date. Many of the younger generation of 20 to late 30's seem to have accepted Airbnb as an alternative to staying at hotels. 

And with super combo AirAsiaGo, I have personally found that booking a flight ticket plus accommodations from here saved huge amounts for me. Here is an example - In 2015, I checked a package for two to Kyoto, Japan for 6D/5N on AirAsiaGo and the results came back with a price of RM3,200 for two persons with return tickets and staying at a three star hotel. This was also booking six months ahead, in March and then I visited the Matta Fair 2016 to get a quote for a similar package, but I ended up with the best possible package of RM4,800 and with a two star hotel. 

7. Are airline tickets really cheap at the Matta Fair? 

In an honest opinion, if you buy your flight tickets way in advance, you would be getting a very good deal from the airline. So, let us say, I buy a return ticket to Tokyo, Japan in January for my flight in November, I would probably get a very good deal versus buying it one or two months before my departure. So, during the Matta Fair, you could get lucky if the airline decides to participate and run a promotion. Again, I would say that you would most likely be able to get that January price versus buying it at the fair. 

Most of the time, the airlines want to capitalise on these travel fairs that they offer special promotions only available during the Matta Fair. An example is that AirAsia will offer additional 20% discount for any flights bought during the Matta Fair and this will prompt consumers to visit the fair to book those tickets. Again, if you planned your trip well in advance, you would probably get a better deal. 

In today's world, the younger generation has already accepted online purchasing and are more confident by purchasing airline or flight tickets and so on from various online platforms. I would safely say that almost 80% of Malaysians have at least once, purchased a flight ticket via AirAsia, FireFly, Malaysia Airlines or even Malindo Air. 

8. What else can I find at the Matta Fair? 

Apart from the normal travel agents, there are also airlines, tourism boards, hotels and resorts, theme parks, NGO's, travel publications, travel apparels and luggage among the participating vendors here. You will also find some foreign tour agents participating too.

Usually, most of the other products like apparels, cameras, accessories and luggage bags are located along the main hallway to the fair in separate halls. The others vendors will be situated in the main halls of the fair and for off topic, there is also a mini beauty fair that takes place at one of the halls in PWTC too.

9. What is a good thing to do for first timers? 

In my years of attending these travel fairs, the best thing for a first timer is to attend the fair for at least two days to see the pros and cons of the fair. Meaning, you should set a target for your destination, then look for those selling that package, talk to them in finding out more information and the fine print before committing to buying a package. This way, you can fully understand the different prices and packages that vendors are selling. Even by visiting a tourism board booth, you can get additional information about the destination that you want to visit. 

10. Are OTA's killing the travel fair industry? 

A topic that is very subjective, but Online Travel Agent's or OTA's as they are commonly known, seem to have made a huge impact to the consumer industry over the last five years or so. OTA's are companies like Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com, LastMinuteDeals, AsiaTravel, Expedia.com, Ctrip and many other new ones which have entered the market giving consumers very attractive deals and offers without the hassle of visiting a conventional travel agent. 

One of the international tour agents booth
These questions and answers are purely based on years of experience, visits and talks with travel agents in the industry. They are very standard and straight forward and meant for the mainstream consumers. You can also take a look at one of my earlier articles on Matta Fair Tips and Tricks for additional information about the travel packages, codes and terms which are commonly used. For the travel industry players reading this, if you have any feedback of comments, you are welcomed to share them in the comment form below or by emailing me.

To the rest, just keep in mind that there are all kinds of travel deals available nowadays and with this Matta Fair Malaysia - 10 Questions Answered, hopefully it would give you an idea of what to expect when you go there. 

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