THIS year was expected to be a fruitful one for Sepang’s tourism sector, with the Visit Sepang 2020 campaign having been in planning for the last two years.
In fact, Visit Sepang 2020 (VS 2020) was supposed to run concurrently with Visit Malaysia 2020.
With KL International Airport strategically located in the municipality, Sepang was to have leveraged tourist arrivals.
Some five million visitors, 80% locals and 20% foreigners, were expected to contribute to some RM5bil in tourism income.
Unfortunately, the MPSepang board had to cancel the campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is still waiting for the Selangor Economic Action Council to endorse the decision.
MPSepang president Mohd Fauzi Mohd Yatim said the board would now focus on promoting the municipality to domestic tourists.
“We will discuss ways to promote Sepang to local travellers, based on the current recovery movement control order (MCO) guidelines by the National Security Council, ” he added.
Tourism players in Sepang are raring to resume business after making little to no profit since the start of the MCO on March 18.
Among the star attractions are the river cruises along Sungai Sepang and Bagan Lalang beach, a favourite among anglers and picnickers.
According to business owners, enquiries for bookings on accommodation and services started coming in when the recovery MCO took effect on June 10.
Persatuan Nelayan Kampung Sepang managing director Siti Zulkhaidaton Muhamad Sayit said its Sepang Resort nearby Bagan Lalang beach had started accepting guests for chalets since June 20.
“The chalets were not used for some three months so we had to clean them up before welcoming guests.
“We need to get back in business fast to sustain our eight workers who maintain the chalets and the premises.
“Since March 18, with our chalet business shut, we began to focus solely on selling seafood to ensure that we could at least stay afloat.
“Now that the government is allowing us to operate the chalets, we need to pick ourselves up, ” she said.
Jeti Sirip Biru owner Zaidi Ahmad Harun, a Sungai Sepang river cruise operator, said many people wanted to go for the cruises and deep-sea fishing.
“We are usually busy on weekends as family and friends gather for leisure activities.
“Ever since the government started to relax certain conditions, people have been asking if we are open.
“However, there are no proper guidelines from the Fisheries Department on how our boating services can resume, so we are reluctant to start.
“But the raft houses are open.
“The operators have put certain measures in place and people can rent the raft houses to enjoy activities like fishing or having a picnic while adhering to restrictions under the recovery MCO, ” he added.
Sepang is also famous for its dragon fruit farms.
Sepang Corner Healthy Food and Florist owner Daniel Lee said he was fortunate to have been able to open throughout the MCO as his business was
categorised under essential businesses.
“Usually customers are allowed into our connecting 3ha dragon fruit farm to see how the fruit is grown, but this activity is still out of bounds.
“Business has been slow but I am grateful that I managed to retain my three employees at the farm and run the shop, ” he said.
Lee hopes people will be considerate and take the trouble to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) at all places to help businesses remain afloat.
“Some people are stubborn and refuse to wear face masks or sanitise their hands before entering the premises.
“When we tell them to do so, they get angry, ” he said, adding that people should think about the greater good, instead of just convenience, in order to help the country recover from the pandemic.
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