PLANS are under way to have direct flights from Ipoh to China to attract more Chinese tourists to Perak, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
He added that the state was eyeing establishing connection flights with the southern part of the republic.
“I discovered that there are many Chinese tourists who travelled to Ipoh from KLIA and Singapore.
“We hope to capture this group of tourists with the range of flying hours within two to three hours between Ipoh and the southern part of China,” he said after presenting the state excellence awards to civil servants of the state secretariat in Ipoh.
The state’s aspiration of having flights between Ipoh and China came a day after the revival of the Ipoh-Medan route from the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport following a three-year hiatus.
“So far, we have Ipoh-Singapore, Ipoh-Johor Baru and now Ipoh-Medan flights.
“I hope there will be more flight destinations in the near future, and we will continue with efforts to attract more tourists from China into the state,” said Dr Zambry.
When asked if there were any preferred locations in southern China that Ipoh was looking at, Dr Zambry named Guangzhou.
However, he noted that the state’s focus was not only on that particular region.
“China is huge. It could be from Beijing, Nanjing or Shanghai.
“The connection has to be there for tourists to fly to Ipoh.
“The most important thing is to get more scheduled flights to Ipoh,” he added.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Zambry called on civil servants to keep striving for excellence in their work.
“To be excellent, one must be brave in realising one’s shortcomings and weaknesses, and be ready to improve.
“It is also the basis to be successful. We must also think big and have the vision to achieve our goals as a team,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked about Tambun MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah’s statement that he was ready to be fielded again and would bring victory to Barisan Nasional, Dr Zambry said, “Anyone could offer to be a candidate to contest in the coming general election.”
“We in Barisan will not stop anyone who offers to contest or serve.
“The final decision by the party’s leadership will be heeded and respected by all, in the spirit of Barisan,” he added.
Ahmad Husni was the former second finance minister prior to his resignation following a Cabinet reshuffle in 2016.