Aidilfitri abroad a new trend among Malaysians

South Korea is a popular choice among travellers celebrating Hari Raya abroad.
South Korea is a popular choice among travellers celebrating Hari Raya abroad.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Despite the depreciation of the ringgit against foreign currencies, Malaysians have somehow developed a new trend — celebrating Hari Raya overseas.

The usual tradition of family members gathering at their parents’ home to celebrate the auspicious occasion has slowly shifted to celebrating Hari Raya together at their dream vacation destination.

Breaking the tradition is not easy, but Mohd Ishraf Khairuddin, 34, together with his family will be celebrating Aidilfitri in Jeju, South Korea thanks to the cheap flights available.

“My mum and wife are avid Korean fans and they have always wanted to visit Jeju.

“So while the tickets were cheap, I purchased five tickets for all of us including one for our seven-year-old daughter. It would be a different experience altogether,” he told Bernama.

Even with the exchange rate making things costly, Mohd Ishraf believes it was worth it.

According to AirAsia, the top five international routes for this Hari Raya through AirAsia X are Kuala Lumpur-Taipei, Kuala Lumpur-Busan, Kuala Lumpur-Delhi, Kuala Lumpur-Perth and Kuala Lumpur-Jeju.

Over the years, the ringgit has weakened gradually against the Korean won, from an average of 321.89 won per ringgit in 2014 to 269.23 won as of June 8 this year.

As for the Taiwan dollar, the ringgit has weakened from NT$9.2 in 2014 to NT$7.48 per ringgit to date, while against the Australian dollar, the ringgit currently stands at A$0.33 from A$0.35 in 2014.

This shows that even as the ringgit has weakened against foreign currencies, people’s desire to travel abroad does not fade as long as flight tickets are cheap.

Meanwhile, AirAsia, in an email reply to Bernama’s query, said that the airline had conducted the Raya travel promotion from June 4 to June 11 last year with the travel period slotted from Jan 15 to Aug 28 this year.

An average of 50,000 guests daily are expected to depart from KLIA2 over the course of the festive season for both domestic and international travel. — Bernama

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