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Monday May 14, 2012
By ROSHIDI ABU SAMAH and EDMUND NGO
MORE foreign tourists, especially those from Singapore, China, the United States and Japan are flocking to Perak this year, said State Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman.
She attributed it to the surge in tourist arrivals to the aggressive Visit Perak Year 2012 (VPY2012) promotions on tourist attractions in the state.
She said there was a 26.5% increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
“A total of 25,029 foreign tourists visited Perak from January to March, against 19,940 in the same period last year,” she said, adding that plans were also afoot to set up another 10 tourist information kiosks at popular places like Aeon Station 18 and the Lost World of Tambun.
Hamidah said she was confident that the state could meet its VPY2012 target of five million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
She said over 1,000 participants are expected at the GP Joran - a fishing grand prix to be held at Lumut and Pangkor from June 23 to June 24.
The event would feature deep see fishing and beach fishing, she added.
Hamidah said another highlight of VPY2012 would be the Citra Perak Aman Jaya - a colourful multi-cultural show with about 1,000 participants marching from Dataran MBI to the Ipoh Padang on June 30.
Tourism industry players are also equally upbeat on the VPY2012 progress after recording a 7% increase in hotel room occupancy in the state in the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year.
“A total of 69,302 rooms were sold in the first quarter of the year, against 58,149 in the same period last year, said Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Perak Chapter president Vincent Ee.
He said the figures were based on a survey on 11 hotels under the MAH, adding that new hotels (under the MAH) but not included in the survey had also recorded an average of 50% to 60% room occupancy in the same period.
Ee said Perakians were also visiting places like Teluk Intan apart from popular destinations like Taiping and Pangkor Island – thanks to the VPY2012 promotions.
He also called for proper maintenance of tourist spots, especially public toilets, to meet tourist expectations.
According to Perak Tourist Guides Association chairman Roselyn Lim, there was an increase in tourist arrivals from China and Singapore since the beginning of the year.
She hoped the cooperation between the state government and industry players to draw more tourists to the state would continue beyond VPY2012.
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