“I have brought this matter up to the Cabinet. There are claims that one company was snapping up all the rooms and selling them to customers at a much higher price.
“We have received many complaints, including claims of block bookings, and rooms at RM1,000 a night and rental homes at RM2,000 night,” she told the Malaysian media yesterday at the sidelines of the Asean Tourism Forum here.
The high rates, she said, would make it difficult or even offend tourists who wanted to make hotel bookings in Kuala Terengganu.
“I have asked Tourism Malaysia Terengganu to investigate. Our rates are normally very low and cannot be hiked up just like that,” she added.
Kuala Terengganu, she said, had big tourism potential and Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh could further propel it to greater heights if he won the coming by-election.
“Barisan Nasional has brought many changes to Kuala Terengganu compared to PAS, especially in tourism. I hope voters choose Wan Ahmad Farid and not disrupt the stability they are currently enjoying,” she added.
The parliamentary seat was previously held by Barisan Nasional MP and Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail, who died in November.
After the tourism ministers’ meeting on Thursday, Azalina said Asean members had agreed to co-operate to promote the region as a one-stop tourist destination in an effort to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.
More focus would also be given to youth tourism, she said.
The eight-day forum aims to increase awareness of Asean travel destinations while discussing current challenges, especially the economic crisis.
The year 2009-2010 will be named Youth Travellers Year in Asean, in an effort to tap into the potential market of young tourists, Azalina said.
The ministers also agreed to give a Green Award next year to hotels that practise environment-friendly and sustainable policies.
On youth tourism, Azalina said Malaysia and Singapore had agreed last year for Singaporean students to come to Malaysia as part of their learning experience.
She said about 1,000 Malaysian schools were also part of a student tourism club programme to help promote the tourism industry.
Source : STAR
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