MARANG: Terengganu is confident of reaching its new target of 4.5 million tourist arrivals this year even though the country is still in the recovery phase of Covid-19.
State tourism, culture and information technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said the target was based on the positive pattern of tourist arrivals in the state after the government allowed domestic tourism to resume during the conditional movement control order.
He said since then, hotel bookings at all tourist locations including resort islands in the state had increased by 90% on weekends and over 60% on weekdays.
“Initially we targeted that the influx of tourists would reach 5.4 million people this year but due to the pandemic, the number was reduced to 3.8 million.
“However, after seeing the trend of tourist arrivals from May until now, we are optimistic of reaching 4.5 million tourists by the year-end, ” he said after flagging off participants of the ‘Maghi Candat Sotong Terengganu 2020’ (squid jigging) programme at the Marang Tourism Jetty.
Also present was Terengganu Tourism Department director Ab Rasid Jusoh.
Ariffin said records showed houseboats in Kenyir have been fully booked on weekends until December while the number of visitors to the Kenyir Elephant Village (KEV) also recorded a sharp increase of around 400 people a day during weekends.
He reminded all tourists to always comply with the rules and the standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“For example, for the squid jigging programme, we only allow 10 people in one boat even though it can accommodate up to 20 people at any one time.
“We will take stern action against those who violate the order to ensure public safety, ” he added. — Bernama