THE Perak government is expecting an increase of 6% in domestic tourists to the state for 2018.
State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said in 2017, a total of 7.6 million domestic tourists visited Perak.
Tan said Perak was still in second place in terms of domestic tourist arrivals since 2015.
“However, the statistics on tourists for this year cannot be shown as yet, because a report will only be available in mid-June next year,” he said in reply to Mohd Akmal Kamarudin (Umno-Selama) at the state assembly.
Mohd Akmal had asked about the state government’s target of eight million tourists visiting Perak this year and if the target had been achieved.
Tan said the state government, in its bid to boost domestic and international tourist arrivals, listed out several plans.
“We are exposing local tourism products to the media and tourism agencies through familiarisation trips by the state representatives to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan and other countries.
“The involvement of tourism players in promoting the state in Bangkok, Medan and Guang Zhou in China have been actively carried out in the last three months,” he added.
Besides that, state and international level activities such as International Fashion Week, “Sama-Sama” event in conjunction with National Day celebrations, Ipoh International Run and Perak Arts Festival were also held to draw more tourists to the state.
Tan said the state government, through Tourism Perak and Tourism Malaysia, always updated and ensured current tourism products had potential to be emphasised in the domestic and international arena.
He said the state also had adventure, nature and ecotourism products that were unique and had potential to generate downstream economy.
“Thus, the strategy and agenda for ecotourism products has been divided into four cluster areas in the state.
“The ecotourism clusters are Taiping-Batu Kurau-Bukit Merah-Kuala Sepetang, Ulu Geroh-Gua Tempurung-Gopeng-Batu Gajah, Royal Belum-Lenggong-Kuala Kangsar, and Pulau Sembilan-Teluk Senangin-Segari-Melintang,” he added.
On a supplementary question by Datuk Aznel Ibrahim (Umno-Pengkalan Hulu) on plans to promote Pengkalan Hulu to tourists, Tan said since the Betong airport in Thailand was expected to be completed by end of next year, Pengkalan Hulu would be an important gateway.
“We are coming up with strategies to get as many visitors who visit Betong to enter Perak through Pengkalan Hulu,” he added.