MoU on umrah, haj travels

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Asfar Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Fursan Convention & Exhibition to promote and enhance umrah travel to Saudi Arabia through networking, marketing and promotional activities between travel agents of both countries.

Signed by MATTA Umrah and Hajj vicepresident Shahrulnezam Mohd Daud, Asfar Kingdom deputy chairman Samir Abdul Fatani and Fursan Convention & Exhibition chairman Zairul Annuar Mohd Zin, the crux of the MoU will have all three parties working together to organise the first umrah B2B session on July 2 in Kuala Lumpur.

Shahrulnezam said, "This is an exciting collaboration for both parties and it plays a significant role in enhancing umrah travel to a greater height, providing more business opportunities for the members to exchange ideas, build networking, partnership and expand their business market". About one million pilgrims perform their umrah and haj yearly from the region, with MATTA seeking to capitalise on this opportunity to shape the umrah travel and to facilitate the business of bumiputra tour operators when they meet with their Arab counterparts.

"With this MoU, we will be able to raise cooperation and leverage on each other's expertise for the expansion and growth of both nations' travel and tourism industry," Shahrulnezam added.As of April 9, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has authorised 328 umrah licences and 86% are MATTA members while 50 to 70 firms from Saudi Arabia and 175 to 200 other Islamic countries are expected to be authorised," he informed.