Sudden Price Increase In Umrah Packages, MATTA Says Its Unavoidable

The Malaysian Association of Travel and Travel Agents is cautioning pilgrims about the skyrocketing room rates in the cities of Mecca and Madinah which the association has noticed will impact the price of Umrah packages.

Subsequently, local travel agencies arranging for the packages will also be increasing the travel cost at the last minute.

MATTA says the price increase is believed to be caused by high demand for hotels, especially in the city of Madinah following the increase in the number of Umrah pilgrims around the world when the governments in their respective countries opened their borders after the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic gradually recovered. “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.

The last-minute price adjustment could cause some upset among Umrah pilgrims who insist on lowering the rates of Umrah packages in order to maintain the prices offered by their respective travel agencies,” said MATTA Haji and Umrah Vice President, Haji Mohd Azri bin Abd Razak.

According to him, the travel agency is also facing difficulties in obtaining confirmation of the booking even though the full payment has been made to the hotel. The sudden price increase by the hotel also makes travel agencies stuck and have no choice but to raise the price of packages for Umrah pilgrims. With the current situation and confusion, MATTA has requested that all Umrah pilgrims be patient and understand the uncertain situation that is happening in Madinah and Mecca.

Seperately, the association also received complaints about the difficulty of bringing back Zam-Zam water by Umrah pilgrims, especially at Jeddah airport, and has raised the issue to the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) to get further clarification on the permission to bring back Zam-Zam water using a tourist visa. MATTA hopes to hold a meeting with MOTAC to discuss and deal with such a serious issue so that the pilgrims do not blame the travel agency entirely for the situation in Madinah and Mecca on the steep rise in costs.

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