Inbound agents are hopeful that the government’s recent decision, which limits the number of sales periods to four times annually, will maintain the uniqueness of the events and enhance Malaysia's appeal as a shopping destination.
Put into place from January 1, 2017, the three sales periods as gazetted by the government will be the New Year Sale from March 1 to 30, Mega Carnival Sale from June 15 to August 31 and the Year-end Sale from November 1 to December 31. Traders are allowed to set a fourth period of their choice to hold another sale on their own.
All sales must have a minimum discount of 10 per cent according to the new regulation.
Abdul Rahman Mohamed, general manager at Mayflower Holidays, said: “It will make it easier to plan a group, especially from regional markets and China, to coincide with the sales periods.”
Nigel Wong, director of Urban Rhythms Tours, Adventures & Travel, said the new regulation now makes shopping sales "a tourism event". But to strengthen Malaysia’s branding as a shopping destination, he pointed out that retailers too have a part to play to ensure quality and genuine sales.
Concurred Raaj Navaratnaa, general manager, New Asia Holiday Tours & Travel: “It is also important to ensure that branded goods have good discounts as Malaysia is also competing with Singapore’s shopping sales where branded goods can go as low as 70 per cent.”
But a current weak ringgit will work in Malaysia's favour as accommodation and shopping will comparatively offer more value for money for inbound tourists, he added.