NATAS 2010

NATAS 2010

Yesterday, I went down to the NATAS Travel Fair at EXPO to see if I can sniff out a good deal for my honeymoon vacation in June. Rachel cannot make it as she was working.

There was a long queue of around 100+ people in front of me when I got there. Thankfully, the queue moved quite fast and I got into the exhibition halls after around fifteen minutes. Two aunties tried to sneakily cut my queue, thinking that I did not see them as I was reading a book. I sternly told them off and they smiled sheepishly before walking away. There were many others who saw them, but I wonder why no one said anything. We should not condone such bad behaviour.

The admission fee is S$4 – probably to ensure a better shopping experience for those genuinely interested, keeping out the window shoppers who may not find it worthwhile to pay. Once inside the hall, it was relatively spacious to move around, unlike at crowd-crushing IT shows which do not charge admission fees.

Inside the exhibition halls

Inside the exhibition halls

This is the first time I have visited the NATAS fair and I must say, it was not a suitable event for me. The airlines booths I approached mostly encouraged me to book my tickets online for promotional deals and to avoid agency surcharges. The agency booths are more interested in serving retirees and older travelers who are less likely to scrutinise the itinerary beyond the price of the package.

After doing my maths, it is still cheaper to buy your tickets, book your hotels and plan your own itinerary. (There are exceptions – some tour packages are sold at ridiculously cheap prices, marked down because the itinerary is full of scam-like shopping trips that are compulsory visits which still amount to a huge waste of time even if you do not buy anything)

The only plus point is that if you have travel destinations in mind, it will be great for grabbing relevant travel resources like maps, hotel guides and other brochures at the relevant tourism bureau booth.

In the end, Rachel and I still haven’t settled on our honeymoon venue yet. We have narrowed our choices to four destinations – Shanghai + Hong Kong (for the World Expo 2010); Turkey + Cyprus; Sydney + Perth or New Zealand.

Any suggestions or lobang? 😀

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