Sepang council goes full swing in tourism drive

Amirudin (left) trying the dragon fruit juice at the launch of Visit Sepang Year 2020 as orchard owner Lee Chee Wei looks on.

DRAGON fruits, the beach at Bagan Lalang and the opportunity to experience local culture though homestay packages have been marked as tourist draws at the Visit Sepang Year (VSY) 2020 promotions in KL International Airport.

The two-day exhibition at KLIA featured live performances by popular singer Noraniza Idris, Mah Meri dancers who got the audience to join them on stage and a launch ceremony officiated by Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.

This came after a 50-strong superbike convoy across nine towns and districts led by Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang) deputy president Muhammad Hafiz Shaari followed by participation at the Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin trade fair.

French tourists taking a photograph with Mah Meri dancers from Bukit Bangkung and the Visit Sepang Year 2020 mascot.

French tourists taking a photograph with Mah Meri dancers from Bukit Bangkung and the Visit Sepang Year 2020 mascot.

With just another six months to go till VSY2020, MPSepang is ramping up promotional efforts to draw tourist ringgit to the town and meet its expected target revenue of RM5bil.

By rough estimates, this will translate to local service providers and vendors having to convince each of the expected five million tourists to spend about RM1,000 each when they come here.

To ensure visitors are left with nothing but good impressions and experiences of Sepang, MPSepang president Mohd Fauzi Mohd Yatim said the council was in the midst of upgrading the town’s infrastructure and landscaping.

“We have a beautiful environment but it will need constant care and maintenance.

“Further developments must also complement the existing surroundings. As such, we seek the cooperation and full commitment of all government agencies and private entities to ensure the success of this mission,” he said.

Voicing his support, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said the airport operator group had been actively promoting tourism in Selangor through its “Joyful Malaysia” programme at KLIA and KLIA2 since last year.

“We recorded the arrival of some 60 million passengers last year. As such, the collaboration with MPSepang will have a positive impact in tourist numbers,” he said.

One potential market that can be tapped by tourism service providers is transit passengers who can benefit from short excursion packages.

“Typically transiting passengers would not stay in KLIA any longer than three or four hours.

“However, the travelling public nowadays are more savvy in their search for the best deals and they may buy separate tickets which can be cheaper at times than buying a through-journey ticket. In such cases, the transit time can be longer than usual. Some of the connections can even go above 24 hours,” said Raja Azmi.

He said those transiting in KLIA were typically on long-haul journeys from Europe or Australia to Asean destinations.

At the launch, Amirudin said Selangor was ready to cooperate with several entrepreneurial agencies to help increase the potential of small and medium enterprises (SME) in Sepang district.

“Although SME entrepreneurs in the district have received continuous assistance from Hijrah Selangor (a microcredit programme), it is still on a very small scale.

“If we are able to collaborate with agencies like Majlis Amanah Rakyat, I believe these enterprises will be able to increase their business potential,” said Amirudin, referring to makers of crisps and other snacks the district offered as tourist products.

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