THE cost of performing Umrah in Malaysia is expected to rise due to the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit, says the Malaysian Association of Travel and Travel Agents (Matta).
The increase in the currency exchange rate has also resulted in rising accommodation prices and flight ticket prices to Saudi Arabia.
In view of this urgency, discussions with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry between Matta and other relevant associations need to be held soon to meet an agreement for a new floor price as a guideline for the pilgrims.
From the discussion, all relevant parties could come up with solutions to ensure that the umrah operator does not take advantage of the price increase.
Matta’s Umrah and Hajj VP Mohd Azri Abd Razak said extraordinary demand every year results in insufficient flights to Saudi Arabia.
“Some umrah operators are forced to rearrange pilgrims’ flight schedules to meet each of these requests,” he said in a statement today.
This results in the price of the umrah package expected to increase between 10% and 30% by the operating company.
Mohd Azri added that although Matta had held an engagement session with Motac to discuss this issue, it was beyond their control due to the rapid growth of the tourism economy in performing Umrah.
This problem is expected to linger until December 2022 and most congregations have already made plans to perform their umrah during the school holidays and the cooler weather in Saudi Arabia.
“Matta hopes for prospective Umrah pilgrims to prepare in advance to avoid any difficulties in the future,” Mohd Azri concluded.
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