Despite a lack in natural resources, the state’s booming tourism industry is seen by the Tourism Ministry as one of the most important contributors to the nation’s economic development.
Tourism minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said although Malacca has no significant contributions in the agriculture or major technology industries, Malacca has a very successful tourism industry with a record of RM84mil in tourist expenditure every week.
“Last year, the tourism sector contributed 8.2% to the nation’s overall GDP with 75% of its revenue coming from the industry here,” she said at the Malacca Hokkien Associations 209th anniversary dinner here recently. Dr Ng said the state had also set the foundation for the political development for the Chinese community in the country.
Later, during her official visit here, she took a Malacca river cruise and a walkabout around the waterfront with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam. She lauded the state’s efforts and creativity in turning the historic city into the country’s top tourist destination with over eight million tourist arrivals.
To further enhance this status, she said the ministry has allocated a sum of RM157.2mil to the state for tourism-related projects which will be disbursed in a two-year period under the 10th Malaysia Plan. The allocation represented 46% of the total allocation of RM340mil under the tourism implementation programme.
Dr Ng added that five main projects under the programme included the upgrading of facilities at the Botanical Garden in Ayer Keroh that would cost RM30mil, developing the Tasik Chin Chin area in Jasin (RM25mil) and a cable car service in Banda Hilir (RM49mil).
Two other projects include the monorail phase two project along the Malacca river (RM13.2mil) and development of the Hang Tuah Village along the Duyong River (RM40mil). Other than the listed projects, she said the ministry has plans to make Botanical Garden as the first ‘Night Flower Garden’ in Malaysia with a bird centre.
Dr Ng later also pledged RM30,000 to Jonker Walk Committee for its annual carnival and decoration fund with another RM10,000 for the associations annual activity fund.
Source : TheStar
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