Sunday, January 4, 2009

Friends from Far Away - 有朋自远方来

4 Taiwanese friends of my wife, whom she got to know during her recent visit to Taiwan, visited Malaysia.

Guess how much they pay for their trip to Malaysia from 1 Jan 2009 to 5 Jan 2009? Before guessing, just look at the hotels they are staying:

Night Location Hotel Rate
1st Melaka The Legacy Melaka RM168
2nd Port Dickson The Legend Water Chalet RM700
3rd Klang Valley Holiday Inn Glenmarie RM260
4th Klang Valley Palace of Golden

lodging per head is estimated at RM754.00
They fly Cathay Pacific, transit HKG, NT8,643.00 (RM914.63) per head

This works out per head cost RM1,668.63 for their 5 day stay in Malaysia, converting to NT$ based on current exchange rate, equals to NT$15,768.00

They are paying a total of NT14,500 per head.

This is clearly below cost, even for just accommodation and flight alone. In addition, cost of transportation from KL to Melaka on the first day, from Melaka to Port Dickson on second day, from Port Dickson to KL on 3rd day, and from KL to Genting Highland, back to KL on the 4th day, and lastly from Palace of Golden Horses to KLIA, tour guide tips, lunch & dinner, are all not covered.

Of course there are tourist spots included in their itinerary, such as Bukit Cina, etc in Melaka, the Port Dickson beach (still promoting Port Dickson beach??), Batu Caves, Bintang Walk, etc.

Now, how the tour operator is able to make money from the apparent loss making trip?

The secret: pushing the tourists to buy as much as possible at designated stores.

For example, the herbs for Ba ku teh is selling at RM50.00 per pack, after discount, sold for RM35.00 whereas we, the ordinary Malaysian buying at RM10.00.

This makes our friends very unhappy as no one ever informed them their fare is below costs that they need to buy a lot.

Is this something wrong with us Malaysian when promoting Malaysia abroad?

I was learned that Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese are two easy target for this kind of tour packages.

What is Tourism Malaysia doing on this? I do not think that the Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese are not able to pay for proper tour packages, however, the fare actually misled them.

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