Natas Fair 2013 Ended With Fewer Visitors and Lower Sales

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The uncertain economic outlook coupled with more people switching to booking travel deals online have negatively affected the turnout and sales, says travel specialist GoingPlaces.sg.

Natas Fair 2013 Feb 22-24
The drop in visitorship was not unexpected as several top tour agencies had braced themselves for slower business due to uncertain economic conditions.

The 3-day Natas Fair 2013 held at Singapore Expo ended on Sunday, 24 February 2013. The number of visitors turned up at the event was 53,300, about 15% fewer than last February's numbers of 62,871. The total sales were estimated at between $85 million and $90 million, also lower than last year's $100 million.

Travel specialist GoingPlaces.sg noted that the drop in visitors and sales figures were due to the uncertain economic outlook and the growing trend of people booking holiday packages online instead of going to a travel fair.

"We are seeing an increasing number of bookings for travel packages via our website over the past 6 months," said Lim Phing Phing, founder of GoingPlaces.sg, a travel website which provides travel tips and offers travel deals to individual travellers. "Over the weeks leading to the event, there was a drop in the number of enquiries on Natas fair promotions as compared to the same period last February," she added.

In addition, some industry players indicated that the drop in visitorship was not unexpected as several top tour agencies had braced themselves for slower business due to uncertain economic conditions. One of the largest travel agencies in Singapore, Chan Brothers Travel reported a 10 percent drop in sales compared to the same fair last year.

Travel agents interviewed by local press indicated that the drop in the visitor numbers to the travel fair could be due to the overlap with the Chinese New Year festive period. "Half of those who talked to me were only here to see, not because they wanted to go on a holiday. Maybe it's because they are still in the Chinese New Year mood," said K. H. Khong of WTS Travel.

Mr Robert Khoo, chief executive of the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS), commented that people may be less willing to spend on holidays early in the year when the economic conditions are uncertain. "Singaporeans as a whole love to travel and I am hopeful that they will be more willing to spend during the second half of the year," he said.

The second event of biannual Natas Fair is expected to be held later in the year around August. For more information on the upcoming event, visit http://www.goingplaces.sg/natas-fair/

About GoingPlaces.sg:
A travel website popular with holidaymakers looking for the best travel deal in town, http://www.goingplaces.sg offers the latest updates on travel events, hotel reviews and travel deals out of Singapore to destinations in Asia and beyond.

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