Price hikes hit pilgrimage tours

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 January 8, 2023: The Malaysian Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (MATTA) reports ‘Umrah’ pilgrims will face sharp increases in hotel prices in Mecca and Medina, badly impacting pilgrimage package prices.

A spike in bookings for hotels, especially in the city of Medina, followed the relaxation of Covid-19 travel restrictions as nations reviewed health regulations.

“It’s not just hotel prices that are increasing, but transport and flight ticket prices are also becoming more burdensome, especially during the peak season,” said MATTA Haji and Umrah vice president, Haji Mohd Azri bin Abd Razak. “ It resulted in a call to lower the rates for Umrah packages to maintain the prices offered by authorised travel agencies,”

Travel agencies are also facing difficulties obtaining confirmation of the booking even though the full payment has been forwarded to hotels. The sudden rate increase by hotels forced travel agencies to raise package prices for Umrah pilgrims.

MATTA says hotel rates in both Madinah and Mecca have increased substantially. The association will meet with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to discuss the issue of rising hotel and flight costs that are now impacting the Umrah pilgrimage packages.

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