|Natas Fair 2013 | Natas Travel Fair 2013/2014|
|Events - February|
|Written by Singapore Guide|
NATAS Fair 2013
NATAS 2012 - Book your Natas Travel Fair Holidays!
When: Feb 22 - 24, 2013 (Fri to Sun), 10am to 9.30pm
The most sort after Travel Fair in Singapore.
Bargain hunters will have fewer travel fairs to suss out holiday deals this year. The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) is doing away two additional fairs, NATAS journeys Summer and Winter, that it launched last year.
Held in May and October, they were organized in top of the usual bi-annual NATAS travel fairs in February and August to cater the last-minute bookings for the mid year and end-of-year school holidays. more...
But consumers can take heart because fewer fairs is not necessarily a bad thing. That is because the travel packages offered at NATAS journeys were slightly more expensive than those at the Natas Travel Fairs.
The reason: What was offered at Natas Journeys were leftover packages from the earlier Natas Travel Fairs. Because bookings were made so close to the departure dates, prices were naturally higher.
This year's Natas Travel Fair will be held from February 25-27 at Singapore Expo's Hall 4 and 5. The focus will be on South America as travel agents take advantage of Singapore Airlines' new trice-weekly direct flights to Sao Paulo Brazil, which start next month. Visitors can also look forward to the usual discounts offered at Natas Travel Fairs, such as one-for-one travel deals.
Natas chief executive Robert Khoo says many agencies had complained that having two extra travel fairs within a year stretched their budgets and strained manpower resources, A poll of eight travel agencies by Life! confirmed this.
CTC Travel spokesman Alicia Seah says her travel agency budgets about $500,000 for each of the usual bi-annual Natas fairs. Last year, the agency had cough up and additional $125,000 for each of the two Natas Journeys events. She says: "If you don't join the fairs, you are afraid that you might miss out on consumer demand."
Mr. Khoo says a group made up mainly of the industry's major players came together to ask that Natas revert to holding just two fairs a year. Natas agreed, on condition that the agencies do not participate in non-Natas Travel fairs. They can however, organize thier own roadshows.
Mr. Khoo admits that the "in-between fairs" did not serve any other objective aside from selling off tours seats left over from the bigger Natas fairs.
However, travel bargain hunters such as Mr. Daniel Lee, a manager at an electricity generation company, says the extra Natas Journeys fairs were good for those unable to confirm their annual leave in advance. The 34-year-old booked a holiday to Egypt at the Natas Journeys Fair last October.
In spite of having to pay a slightly higher price, he says: "I know that the tour is confirmed and will definitely run since these were leftover unsold seats."
In the meantime, consumers who still want more options can look out for fairs organized by individual travel agents this week. SA tours is holding its Sensational Mega Travel Sale 2011 on Saturday and Sunday at Suntec Entertainment Centre Atrium, and Chain Brothers Travel Fair will be on Sunday at Suntec Singapore Level 3 Concourse. UOB Travel's on going Spring to Summer Holidays Sale at nex@Serangoon Central will end on Sunday.
Chan Brothers marketing communications manager Jane Chang says organizing its own fairs has helped the company to be more cost effective and keep travel package prices low for travellers.
Natas Travel Deals 2012 (to be announced..)
CHAN BROTHERS TRAVEL
Natas Fair 2013 Floor plan