The lure of sun, sea and sand have turned the islands off Terengganu into popular holiday destinations for Singaporeans after the monsoon season in east coast states ended a month ago.
The hotels and resorts on five of the islands have been fully booked by Singaporean visitors from May to mid-August and there is no room left for last-minute travellers.
Singaporeans marked the biggest number of visitors to the islands, followed by Hong Kong nationals and those from Europe.
State Industrial Development and Tourism committee chairman Datuk Mohamed Awang Tera said that Malaysians would also be making their way to the islands, especially during the school holidays at the end of this month.
He said that efforts to promote the islands as tourists’ destination had paid off.
“We have the right tourism product and can lure the tourists here,” he said.
He said the state would continue to preserve the islands to ensure their natural beauty attracts tourists.
Mohamed said the state would embark on a promotion campaign in the Middle East to attract tourists there to the islands.
“We are looking at their preferences and will cater to their needs,” he said.
He said, apart from the islands, they are looking at promoting other attractions, including the jungles and lakes on the mainland.
Terengganu Malaysian Association of Hotels vice-chairman Rudi W. Herrmann said hotels and resorts had anticipated an occupancy rate of between 60% and 91% this month.
However, he said, the market segment was focusing on threestar hotels.
He said while the islands were packed with tourists, Kenyir Lake saw low occupancy rates.
He said tourists might be reluctant to visit the man-made-lake due to its location.
Source : STAR
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