People, Travel

Malaysian Fair Features Iranian Trips

Malaysian Fair Features Iranian TripsMalaysian Fair Features Iranian Trips

The curtains fell on Malaysia’s top tourism exhibition named MATTA Fair on Sunday at Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur, which also presented trips to Iran.

Aside from Iran, countries as diverse as India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and Uzbekistan showed off their tourism products to lure Malaysian outbound travelers, IRNA reported.

The Iranian pavilion, adorned with photographs depicting major tourist attractions and Iran’s ancient civilization was a standout, according to reports. Traditional handicrafts were also on display.

The pavilion had been set up by an Iranian private company in collaboration with the Iranian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. However, since Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization did not participate in the event, efforts of the private company did not pay off as expected.

Among Malaysian travel agencies offering traveling packages to various countries, only one had trips to Iran. The package prices varied from 3,410 Malaysian ringgit ($791) to 5,280 ($1,225), which were considerably more expensive than tours to Dubai (1,500 MYR - $347) and Turkey (2,020 MYR - $469).

This is while the chief executive officer of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Phua Tai Neng, had singled out Iran last month as Malaysians’ new destination. Currently, 70,000 Iranian tourists travel to Malaysia annually whereas about 1,000 Malays visit Iran every year.

For the first time in the history of MATTA Fair, Umrah trips were offered in the expo to Muslim travelers. Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the one-time annual Hajj.

Visiting the fair, Secretary-General of the D8 Organization for Economic Cooperation Seyyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi said Umrah trips provide a great opportunity for having Malay tourists passing through Iran.

Outlining the activities of D8 Tourism Committee, Mousavi said aviation cooperation between member states offers travelers from Southeast Asia the chance to have short stays in southwest Asian countries, particularly Iran and Turkey, on their way to Umrah pilgrimage.