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Sunday February 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday April 20, 2013 MYT 3:42:31 PM
GEORGE TOWN: Bicycle tours will form one of Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014’s latest tourist package rollouts nationwide.
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said the agency would collaborate with local tour agencies to hold bicycle tours throughout the country.
“We will introduce the cycling element into a variety of popular products such as heritage and hawker food trails, homestay, rural and rail tourism, and Chinatown trips,” he said.
In Penang and Malacca, guided bicycle tours to historical sites, art galleries, antique shops and hawker food hotspots had been successful, and Tourism Malaysia had drawn up plans
to expand bicycle touring in the country, he said.
Mirza said Tourism Malaysia had tested the market by conducting about 10 small bicycle tour packages with several travel agents nationwide since last year, and was impressed with the response.
“Somehow, cycling has taken the world by storm,” he said.
“Tour agencies report that tourists regularly ask about the possibility of cycling in Malaysia. We are also aware that the number of cyclists in the country is growing phenomenally.
“Even in Putrajaya, it has become common to see hundreds of cyclists taking leisurely rides even at 1am on weekends.”
Mirza said Tourism Malaysia would also consult KTM Berhad on the possibility of allowing passengers to bring their bicycles into train carriages with them.
He added that by improving bicycle friendliness on trains, it would be possible to create bicycle tours to rural areas.
“Tourists can take the train to rustic towns and villages and explore the area by bicycle. This is an excellent avenue for us to spread tourist revenue to rural areas,” he said.
Mirza was speaking to reporters after chairing a briefing on VMY 2014 attended by some 300 travel industry operators in Penang.
This was the first VMY 2014 briefing to industry players in the country since it was launched by the Prime Minister on Jan 19.
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