TERENGGANU: The Terengganu government’s move to encourage domestic tourism during the recovery movement control order (MCO) has been a boon for tourism industry players in the state, especially in the resort island of Pulau Kapas.
This is evident by the surge in tourist arrivals in the state, with the recovery MCO providing a lifeline for industry players to continue with their business.
Ombak Kapas Island Beach Resort owner Hawa Abd Rahman said occupancy rate at her resort was encouraging, with rooms fully booked for weekends until Aug 31.
“We have four months left to operate before the island is closed to tourists for the monsoon season, between November and February next year.
“When the MCO was enforced on March 18, I was worried about how my business was going to survive, but now I am quite relieved because the increase in tourist arrivals in the island can at least cover the losses incurred during the MCO,” she said.
She hoped the federal and state governments would continue to promote domestic tourism for the survival of local tourism industry players.
What is special about Pulau Kapas is its location, which is only 10 to 15 minutes boat ride from the mainland, compared to other resort islands in Terengganu.
Apart from that, holiday packages offered by resort operators in the island are cheaper, although the island’s beauty and view is comparable to the more popular island resorts, in terms of clear sea water, beauty of coral reefs and diversity of marine life.
Trader Shah Fakhrul Lutffi, 25, who operates a fruit juice stall, said the increase in tourists enabled him to cover losses incurred during the MCO.
“Weekends are especially busy days for me. The increase in tourist arrivals, among others, is due to resort, chalet and boat operators introducing day trips to the island,” he added.
A tourist on the island, Fareiz Adzmi, 28, from Kota Baru, Kelantan chose Pulau Kapas to spend quality time with his family because of the day trip package.
“This is my first trip to Pulau Kapas and I am happy with my choice.
“The place is nice and convenient for recreational activities, like snorkelling, hill climbing at Bukit Singa, as well as for family picnic,” he added. — Bernama