Apple Vacations offered chartered tours to entice customers.

Experiential vacations a big attraction

MORE Malaysians prefer a combination of traditional and experiential tour packages when it comes to planning for a holiday.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said while traditional sightseeing

tours remained popular, today’s travellers were also seeking out more adventurous and experiential travels.

“Travellers these days want to experience a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture.

“Food and activities are a big part of experiential tours, and we find that more travel operators are tailoring their tour packages to include these experiences,” he said at the fair.

Apple Vacations Sales and Marketing (West Division) senior manager YJ Chong concurred with Tan, saying there was also a demand for more exotic locations like Russia, Antarctica and South Africa.

“Travel destinations like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China and Europe are popular among Malaysian travellers, but there are those who want something different.

“Russia’s Lake Baikal, for instance, is becoming a popular tourist destination among Malaysians.

“In the winter, the lake can freeze solid enough for people to walk and drive across, and the ice is so transparent it looks like a huge aquarium.

“The Northern Lights series is one that people look forward to and we also include tours to Oslo, Tromso and Lofoten Islands,” said Chong.

Russia’s Lake Baikal, for instance, is becoming a popular tourist destination among Malaysians.
– YJ Chong –

Apple Vacations, a long-time exhibitor well-known for its international tours, was also offering chartered tours to Okinawa, Shikoku and Hokkaido, Japan, to cater to the growing demand of Malaysians travelling in December.

On the MATTA Fair, Tan said it was a good platform to get better deals for holiday destinations.

“We notice that Malaysians are making an effort to plan their holidays well in advance and this is a one-stop centre for them to find out information and make their bookings.

“Next year, there will be several long weekends so many have planned short vacations to maximise their time off.

“In terms of domestic travel, Malaysia has much to offer in terms of destinations and activities. Many states use the MATTA Fair as a platform to promote their attractions,” Tan added.

He said the fair was a pleasant success, attracting 101,789 visitors to its booths this year with an estimated sales of RM200mil.


Published in The Star, 13 Sept 2019

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