Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bigger crowds expected at Natas fair

SINGAPORE: In a sign that those planning to travel are expecting this to be "a good year", more of them are expected to throng the Natas Travel Fair which opens on Friday.

The fair's organisers, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas), expect 60,000 visitors and sales of S$50 million this year - 10 per cent more compared to the last Natas fair in August 2009.

In a sign that 165 exhibitors at the fair share the optimism, over 1,000 booths have been taken up.

"People are expecting it to be a good year and they are making plans to go for holiday ... it only slowed down last year because of H1N1, but once Singaporeans had a clearer picture of H1N1, they were travelling again," said Natas president Robert Khoo,

According to a recent survey by credit card issuer MasterCard, more Singaporeans are expected to travel within the first six months of this year compared to the second half.

Destinations in North Asia such as Japan and China are expected to continue to be the most popular.

Travel agencies like Chan Brothers are also expecting destinations in Europe to do well, with exotic destinations like Israel and Turkey to be in demand.

"Primarily because Singaporeans are a well-travelled lot ... they are looking for something off the beaten track," said Ms Jane Chang, Chan Brothers' assistant marketing communications manager.

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