Saturday, January 31, 2009

Prelude to Spain - MATTA Fair and Excellence Holidays

Recently I saw and ad on the forthcoming MATTA Fair in March and this reminded me of my adventure with Excellence Holidays two years ago. Well, MATTA Fair is the largest travel fair held locally twice a year in March and September to catch and cater for travellers in the summer (mid-year) and winter (year end) holiday seasons. Excellence Holidays, now defunct, used to be one of the largest exhibitors during the MATTA fairs. I remembered in the March fair of 2007, it was it fact the largest exhibitor and one of the most popular.

During that fair, it was giving very good discounts for advance bookings on credit and even better discount for cash, if full payment was being made there and then. They were also promoting their membership scheme that offer fantastic discount for travel in future. Only later that I realised that it was one big scam to get as much cash as possible from the unsuspecting public as Excellence Holidays was already planning to close shop at the appropriate moment. It was later disclosed that many customers were badly caught in this plot and I was also one of the victims but one of the luckier ones. Of course nobody suspected anything at that time as there was always that feel good atmosphere in such travel fairs.

Many have paid in full and never get to leave for their holidays while those that have left had to come back very early or had to paid big extra sum to continue their journey. In my case, I left as scheduled and completed my tour with paying a little extra. So my batch was the luckiest of the lot among those that were affected by the closure of Excellence Holidays.

My experience with Excellence Holidays started another year back when I first bought my overseas package tour. Since I have been to most of the western European countries in my varsity days, it was time to try Eastern Europe as it was then a growing destination. I booked a tour with Excellence Holidays to Eastern Europe because the timing, the itinerary and the price were right and it turned out to be a good and enjoyable experience. Thus I choose Excellent Holidays again for my next package tour. This time it was to sunny Spain and the adventure starts in the next post. Ole!

Ronald Kwok