Get your luggage and passport ready because the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair is coming to town! Unfortunately it also means you may have to get your wallets ready though…
What is the MATTA Fair?
MATTA Fair is the largest travel exhibition in Malaysia, and this exhibition comes alive twice a year in selected states in Malaysia. If you’re looking for incredible travel and hotel bargains for both local and overseas destinations all under one roof, then you might just find it at MATTA Fair! Since its debut in 1991, MATTA Fair has gained massive popularity so if you’re planning on going this year, expect it to be jam-packed with exhibitors showcasing their greatest bargains, and aspiring travelers dashing about in the search for great travel bargains.
MATTA Fair in 2012
The first MATTA fair 2012 was held sometime during March, and the second MATTA Fair 2012 is just around the corner to greet you with great travel and hotel deals. However, there is an entrance fee of RM4 for adults (everyone above the age of 12), while children under the age of twelve goes in for free.
Here’s the date and venue of the upcoming MATTA Fair :
Location, Date, Venue
Kuala Lumpur : 7 – 9 September 2012 / PWTC, KL (10am – 9pm)
Perak : 7 – 9 september 2012 / Ipoh Parade
Pahang : 14 – 16 September 2012 / Kuantan Parade
Travel Categories & Exhibitors
There will be plenty of travel deals in various categories for you to choose from. Some of these travel categories include :
- Beach & Coast Tours
- City Break Tours
- Club Med Tours
- Cultural & Historical Tours
- Diving & Water Sports Tours
- Escorted Tours
- Family Tours
- Festivals & Events Tours
- Free & Easy Tours
- Guided Tours
- Honeymoon Tours
- Independent Tours
- Muslim Tours
- Nature & Wildlife Tours
- Rail Tours
- Relaxing Retreats Tours
- River Cruises
- Shopping Tours
- Skiing & Winter Sports Tours
- Theme Parks Tours
- Water World
MATTA Fair tips – What to look out for
MATTA Fair is an admirable way to promote tourism and help Malaysian citizens, tour operators and flight companies to come together under one roof to purchase / sell great travel bargains. However, this tour exhibition has a downside to it. Every year, newspapers will publish reports on local folks losing their money to Random-Travel-and-Tours when the promised tour did not materialize, or last minute tour cancellation (with no refunds, of course).
So if you are visiting the MATTA Fair this time around, make sure you read these tips before swiping your credit card for that ridiculously cheap London-Paris tour organized by Random-Travel-and-Tour !
Tight budget? Give it a skip
You’re dying to travel to Korea in the hopes of meeting your k-pop idol…when lo and behold! MATTA Fair promises plenty of cheap travel deals to Korea. We agree that cheap deals are a great way to Save plenty of Money, but if your budget couldn’t hack it, we say let it go. MATTA Fair is a yearly event after all, you can start saving now and fulfill your wish next year! Try using our budgeting tool to determine how much you can save a month.
Research, research, research
Do your research before heading to MATTA Fair! MATTA always post the list of exhibitors a few weeks prior to the fair, so have a look and give those not-so-well-known ones a double check. How? You can try searching for their facebook page (and look for any complaints) and their website. Be extra wary for travel agencies and tour operators who do not showcase their address and contact number anywhere on the website. Similarly, visit MATTA Fair’s facebook page and website, as well as MATTA website for any updates. To lodge a complaint, give MATTA a call or send a report to the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia here.
Purchase only from participating tour operators (it’s safer that way)
Here’s the thing, the difference between the tour operators inside the hall (the participating merchants) and those who set up booths elsewhere is that basically, the ones inside paid for their booth at the MATTA Fair. Although there is no warranty (these operators could still go bust / your travel could still be cancelled), MATTA does oversee and check upon these participants before letting them participate. So your risk will be slightly lower when purchasing from the participating tour operators. But hey, we won’t stop you from looking for bargains from the non-participating operators, just remember to buy at your own risk!
Have a friend who’s been there and done that? Bring them along!
If you have friends or relatives who have been to plenty of MATTA Fairs and already know a travel agent or two? Bring them along to minimize your risk of getting fooled into a bad deal.
Consider getting Travel Insurance, but not just from anybody
To guard yourself against cancelled holidays, tour operators going missing/bankrupt, scams etc., consider picking up some Travel Insurance. We are still working on our Cheap Travel Insurance guide, but for now, just remember to shop around not just for good flight deals, but good travel insurance deals as well. If you’re picking up a holiday from a tour operator, don’t just take on their ‘package travel insurance deal’. You can quite often get cheaper coverage elsewhere (your bank / insurer directly for example), or higher coverage!
MATTA Credit Card
Hong Leong MATTA Credit Card – 20% cashback on travel expenses, 1% cashback on overseas retail spending (until 31st March 2012) and Free entrance to MATTA Fair
|Go To Hong Leong|
Hong Leong MATTA credit card aims to cater to MATTA and travel-lovers, by awarding new users 20% cashback for the first 30 days upon approval. But you have to swipe your card on travel expenses only in order to get the cashback: This includes the purchase of flight tickets, airport limo service, Electric Rail Link (ERL) and duty free shopping only at The Flying Emporium, Eraman and The Zon at KLIA and LCCT.
You will also get 1% cashback on overseas retail and online spending. Both cashback promotions are capped at RM100 per month. If you don’t travel, it acts as a regular normal reward points credit card, where RM1 gives you 1 point (Hong Leong Bank points that is, there are actually better rewards point credit cards out there). If you do travel several times a month, there are quite a few other handy benefits such as :
1. Complimentary Travel Accident and Inconvenience Benefits up to RM1.7 million – Where you will be covered for any inconvenience due to any flight delays, luggage loss or missed connections, as well as overseas medical expenses (up to RM10k) and loss of personal money or belongings allowance (up to RM1k each).
2. Free entrance to MATTA Fair via VIP Express Lane (The entrance fee is RM4 per adult)
3. 15% off at Thistle Hotels, Malaysia (Thistle hotels are located at Port Dickson and Johor Bahru only)
Hong Leong will set up a booth at the MATTA Fair, and those who apply during the 3-day MATTA Fair (7-9 September, PWTC) will get a portable fridge. But alas, you won’t get it immediately, the portable fridge is yours upon card approval and one retail swipe. However, if you don’t travel much, give this card a miss and get the Best Cashback Credit Card for you instead.
MATTA Fair over? Fret not, you can still make some good savings on your flights by reading our Cheap Flights from Malaysia article.