OVER the last 20 years of its operations, domestic visitors to the Genting Highlands theme park have always been predominantly Chinese, followed by Malays and other races.
Theme Park and First World Plaza operations senior vice-president Raymond Yap said 80% of the 2.2 million visitors were Malaysians, where 60% of them were Chinese, 25% Malays and 15% other races.
Beginning this month, the theme park aims to attract one million Malay visitors, which will make up 40% of its targeted 2.5 million of total visitors.
“Sixty one percent of our nation's population are Malays, but our Malay visitors are only 25%, which means we have not tapped the Malay market well,” he said.
Yap said they had lined up a host of promotional events, including entertainment shows to reach out to urban and semi-urban Malay market.
“Besides our usual Chinese and Cantopop shows by Hong Kong and Taiwan artistes and other renowned artists, we will also bring in Malay artistes by the first quarter this year,” he said.
For the convenience of Malay visitors, Yap added that they would build prayer rooms in the outdoor theme park and turn several areas into picnic sites, since it had always been a culture for Malay families to enjoy picnics.
He is confident of meeting the newly-targeted group's demands, as there are sufficient proper amenities for Malays such as numerous halal eateries like fast-food joints and over 90% of the theme park's employees are Malays.
Publicity-wise, Yap noted that they would focus more attention on the Malay media, such as Utusan and Berita Harian as well as Malay magazines.
“We will also probably go to Malay concentrated areas, such as shopping malls that are mostly frequented by Malays, and Risda and Felda settlement for road shows,” he said.
Yap has also identified uniformed personnel and school children as fillers for the family-and-teenager-market oriented theme park this year to boost the number of visitors.
“We are giving special discounts up to 30% to uniformed personnel such as those from the police or fire and rescue department starting this month.
“All they need to do is to flash their identity cards at the theme park entrance. They are also encouraged to bring along their family,” he said.
Talks have also been carried out with the Education Ministry to hold co-curriculum programmes at the theme park for school children.
“We plan to launch the educational programme, where school children will be able to learn the operations, science and management of the theme park, besides enjoying the rides,” he said.
The programme, targeted at primary and secondary schools, will likely kick off by the first quarter this year with an expectation of 50,000 children throughout the year.
“We will promote the programme in the Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Perak and places that are within the vicinity of less than 200km radius,” Yap said, adding that they had also trained six education guides for the programme.
The theme park also grants complimentary entrance to disabled people and those who visit the park on their birthdays.
Yap said, however, those promotions were not part of the Genting Group's 40th anniversary celebration this year. “We have other more fun and exciting events for the celebration,” he added.
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