Haj cost expected to increase by 25 to 30 per cent this year
SHAH ALAM - The cost to perform Haj pilgrimage using the services of private companies is expected to increase by 25 to 32 per cent this year.
Jad Travel & Tours' umrah and haj operator company director Salimi Zainal said the prices for their four Haj packages start at RM49,000 and could go up to a whopping RM170,000.
"The most significant price increase is the price of airfare. Before Covid-19, the ticket price for economy class flights was probably around RM5,000 to RM6,000, while the price for business class flights was from RM9,000 to RM10,000.
"Secondly, hotel prices have also spiked due to high demand after Covid-19. There has been an increase in price for almost all hotels in Makkah and Madinah this year, from 25 to 35 per cent," he told Sinar Harian.
Salimi said so far, private travel agencies registered under Tabung Haji (TH) are not yet allowed to promote haj package services to the public until TH approves.
"The cheapest package where pilgrims will be staying at 250 to 300 meters (from Kaabah) this year is estimated to cost about RM49,000.
"Compared to last year's package, staying near Makkah Clock Tower will cost only between RM44,000 and RM46,000 this year, but the price has hiked.
"So the cheapest price range is within RM49,000, and the most expensive package is priced at RM170,000," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Umrah and Hajj Travel Agency Association (PAPUH) president Datuk Seri Razali Mohd Sham said that private travel agencies, especially those that include haj packages involving Furada visas, also involve a high cost that could go up to RM30,000 or more and does not include the cost of the haj visa.
"For the cost of a visa, it is subjective. It depends on whether you can get ministerial or middlemen quotas. First, for the package, they will charge RM12,000 for the flight ticket and accomodation at hotels at Arafah/Mina costs about 12,408.79 Saudi Riyal (SAR) which equals to RM14,800.
"This is followed by the price for hotels in Makkah (RM2,000) and Madinah (RM2,000) and also food (RM2,000)," he said.
He reminded Muslims not to trust middlemen and to choose wisely when selecting credible private agencies.
On Monday, Tabung Haji announced that they will continue the targeted financial assistance to perform Haj even though the cost had increased to RM30,850 compared to RM28,632 last year.