Thursday, April 23, 2009

Govt to develop tourism aggressively

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has said that the Federal Government will initiate aggressive measures to attract tourists, particularly to Pahang.

She said the industry’s players could carry out three types of promotional activities namely overall, product and rural.

“Each of the categories can be promoted individually, depending on creativity and foresight. For example, rural promotion can be done in Kuantan as there are a lot of iconic places in rural areas unknown to outsiders. Pekan town, in the parliamentary constituency of our Prime Minister, can be exploited to lure more tourists,” she said during her first visit to Kuantan at Hyatt Regency Resort here on Saturday.

Also present were state Culture, Arts, Heritage and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Shariff and Pahang Tourism Action Council general manager Idros Yahya.

Dr Ng said that other activities such as the unique zoom riders programme could be initiated to promote Kuantan town.

She said a matter that needed priority was cleanliness of public toilets.

“Tourists come here not only to go to iconic places but to experience public life as well. It is important not to allow tourists to feel disgusted by the toilets. For example, some nice plants could be placed at the toilets to make them less dull,” she said.

Dr Ng, who is also Raub MP, said that not much money was needed for promotional activities, but creativity was the key to success.

She said, last year, the number of tourists to Malaysia was 7.7 million of whom one million were from China, 200,000 from India, 73,000 from Japan and 66,000 from Hong Kong.

“We have set a daring target of 10 million visitors for this year, including those from the United States. “Pahang had many tourist attractions like Cameron Highlands, Pulau Tioman and Taman Negara. It’s just a matter of how we promote these iconic places,” she said.

Meanwhile, Shafik Fauzan proposed that more direct air links be established from other countries to Malaysia. “In this way, foreign tourists will have less jetlag and have more time for sightseeing,” he said.

Source : STAR
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