The second NATAS Fair for this year has just started today from 31 July to 2 August. The venue is Singapore Expo Halls 3B & 4. Time for this fair is from 10 am to 9 pm daily.
We paid a quick visit before noon to collect more brochures and maps. It wasn’t crowded at all. Perhaps it was still very early. More visitors should be coming in especially during the weekends as admission is free. In addition, there are other events held at the Singapore Expo as well. The SG50 Consumer Electronics Expo 2015 at Hall 5 had quite a good crowd when we were there.
Gone were the days, even last year, where snaking long queues were formed even before the NATAS Fair opening where it would take quite a while just to get to a counter to pay $4 for admission into the fair. This time round though admission is free, the crowd is absent. The many major travel companies that broke away and formed their rival Travel Revolution Fair apparently has significantly affected attendance for the NATAS Fair.
There are still a few travel companies participating in this fair. Noticeably, bigger companies like ASA Holidays has taken a much bigger space at the fair. Besides travel companies, travel promotion boards and associations have set up booths at the fair as well. Of course, cruise companies have booths at the fair too.
Some airlines do have booths at the fair; in particular, the lesser known Druk Air for Bhutan is having a promotion for flights to Bhutan. We went to the Air New Zealand booth and had a chat with a friendly staff there. Air New Zealand is now sharing code with SIA so there are now more options for flights to New Zealand.
As for car rental companies, Avis and Hertz are not participating this time having had their events held at the Travel Revolution Fair a week a ago. Only Budget Car Rental has a booth there.
What we found really useful was maps and brochures collected from Travel Organizations. We had another collections of maps for Taiwan and additional information on transportation as well.
There is also a booth of good size promoting China where maps and books for different regions are available. We were also given a DVD for China tourism which would no doubt be useful especially for DIY tour to China. Unfortunately, maps and other information for Yunnan where we needed were not available at the booth.
In the past, we would spent hours at the fair deciding which tour to book and having to find a quiet corner to compare prices and itineraries. Today, we spent less than 30 minutes at the fair which is a bit sad.
Anyway, if you have nothing much to do during this weekend, head down to the NATAS Fair for a look. There could be deals which might be of interest to you, especially if you have not bought any tours for the year end school holidays during the Travel Revolution Fair at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre last weekend.