Offer attractive packages, Muar tourism players urged

Visitors taking group pictures at the Muar Tourist Info Centre.

MUAR: As Malaysians continue to enjoy “Cuti-cuti Malaysia” by travelling to domestic destinations during the recovery phase of movement control order (MCO), tourism players in this district are urged to continue offering attractive packages.

As things begin to look up, Tourism Muar, an association that has more than 50 members and about 30 affiliates, is encouraging its members to continue taking proactive steps to attract more visitors to the state.

Association secretary Chua Teck Boon said Malaysia’s tourism industry took a bad hit due to the pandemic and the situation was no different in Muar.

“While there is no big jump in numbers, we are happy that visitors are gradually coming in, which is good for the local businesses and tourism industry.

“There are vibrant partnerships and tie-ins among tourism players such as hotels, food and beverage outlets and service providers in efforts to promote Muar’s tourist attractions as a whole.

“The shared prosperity is a positive sign for the ecosystem, ” he said.

Chua said that among the popular attractions in Muar, which was known for its royal town status, was the wide variety of delicious food such as mee bandung, otak-otak, asam pedas and coffee.

He said heritage trails were also popular while durian lovers would be happy to find the D13 durian, which was iconic to Muar, in abundance.

“Tourism Muar will continue its role to promote the local tourism industry and at the same time, disseminate information to the local players through webinars to help them move forward in these challenging times, ” he said.

So Kai Da, 39, who founded Muar Yi Travel Information Centre here, said the visitors’ lower spending power had prompted him to make some necessary changes to suit the current tourism landscape.

He said the majority of visitors to Muar were previously brought in by tour buses.

“Due to overseas travel restrictions, we are now looking at smaller groups of mostly families, so we have to come up with activities that suited them.

“For example, for tour groups we will plan everything in advance, from the number of visitors arriving to the sets of crafts we need to prepare.

“Now, we mostly offer shorter workshops where they can still enjoy a hands-on experience such as making otak-otak, a local favourite, ” he said.

Jalan Haji Abu Hawkers’ Association chairman Ng Nguan Chiok said domestic travellers had provided some relief to the hawkers as business improved by some 20% after Malaysians were allowed to travel more freely.

“We can see eateries are more crowded than before, ” he said.

Besides domestic tourists, more local customers are also seen frequenting the eateries, said Ng.

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