Monday, December 11, 2006

Tour Menara KL and more for RM5

RM5 tour offer that is too good to miss

KUALA LUMPUR: Tour the Menara KL, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve and the National Telecommunication Museum for RM5? This is the price, at least for the next six months.

It is among 100 domestic travel packages that the Tourism Ministry has designed in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY 2007).

Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor is hoping to get domestic tourists, especially students and senior citizens, interested in the packages.

He said the packages did not just focus on value-for-money beach holidays but other destinations based on 11 themes.

The themes include weddings and honeymoons, heritage trails and golf and spa outings, some of which can cost up to RM1,500.

Speaking to the Press after launching a booklet containing information on the packages at a holiday exhibition in KL Sentral here yesterday, he said:

"Apart from travelling, I want Malaysians to participate in more than 200 programmes like the buskers festival, mega sales and the ‘Eye on Malaysia’ ferris wheel ride that we have planned for VMY 2007."

Malaysians, he said, had become more sophisticated with many staying in hotels and resorts when they balik kampung.

A survey by the ministry discovered that domestic hotel guests had increased from 27.8 million in 2004 to 29.9 million last year, accounting for 40 per cent of the RM11 billion revenue earned from domestic tourism.

"A lot of travellers are so used to their cosy lifestyle that when they leave the city, they stay in hotels close to their hometowns."

The ministry is worried that tourists may not be able to get hotel rooms due to high occupancy rates.

"We have received many complaints that local travellers and tourists are unable to stay longer in hotels during festive seasons as they are fully booked."

Kota Kinabalu, for example, was short of 3,000 rooms during the peak season.

Tengku Adnan said his ministry had been working on ways to disperse tourists to other resorts and homes involved in the homestay programme.

"We have proposed that the east coast be developed as the carrying capacity of hotels in the west coast always exceeds the limit during holidays. There has been some encouraging feedback from businessmen who want to set up hotels in the east coast but we leave it to their judgment to develop the area."

On the suspension of visa-on-arrival for tourists from Chennai, India, Tengku Adnan said the Home Affairs Ministry had to act to prevent abuse of the system.

He said the authorities would issue visas once the matter had been resolved.

Source : NST
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