GEORGE TOWN, Aug 11 — The Penang chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) is expecting about 30,000 visitors to throng its travel fair in Penang next weekend.

Matta Penang chapter chairman Vergis Mathews said it expects to record about RM20 million in sales at the Penang Matta Fair this year, after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We expect many people would want to travel again after two years of lockdowns so we are targeting at least 70 to 80 per cent sales of what we hit in 2019,” he said in a press conference announcing the travel fair today.

The two-day Penang Matta Fair will be held at Setia Spice on August 20 and 21.

Vergis said there will be 158 booths with over 60 per cent focusing on domestic tourism.

"This is because many countries are still closed so we want to focus more on domestic tourism by promoting places like Sabah, Sarawak, Sampoerna, Sandakan, Kundasang, Langkawi, Perak, Cherating, Selangor and many more,” he said.

He said there will also be booths featuring international tour packages for countries that are open such as Australia, Europe, Western Europe, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Vietnam and Maldives.

Matta Penang has also prepared four shuttle buses to bring visitors from Seberang Perai to Setia Spice.

Vergis said the buses will pick up passengers from Sunway Carnival Mall and the Seberang Jaya Mosque at 10am, 12pm, 3pm and 5pm.

"This is to reduce traffic congestion and for the convenience of visitors from the mainland,” he said.

He added that there will be special deals and packages available only at the fair.

He said it is part of Matta’s efforts to revive the tourism industry in the state and the country post-pandemic.