Mersing council publishes newsletter on sustainable tourism initiative

A panaromic view of Pulau Setindan, which is a popular tourist spot in Mersing. — Photo courtesy of Mersing District Council

THE Mersing District Council (MDM) has published its first issue of Mersing Kita – a newsletter for the Sustainable Travel Mersing (STM) initiative.

Council president Norazmi Amir Hamzah said the newsletter would keep Mersing residents informed on projects under the STM initiative.

The five-year STM initiative is aimed at helping stakeholders to engage with Mersing folk to create a transformative sustainable tourism industry in the district.

“We hope that Mersing Kita will provide a forum for the community, both young and old, to come together and get involved in various programmes.

“Through STM, the community can appreciate Mersing’s incredible environment, join our activities such as recycling programmes and neighbourhood organic gardens, as well as develop community-led tourism products,” he said during an interview.

Norazmi said MDM would work with the community to improve the coastal town and its surroundings.

“The aim is to build a brand of tourism that not only attracts tourists but also supports the local communities and the environment.

“MDM plans to incorporate sustainability into Mersing’s tourism development based on the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the formulation of the Mersing 2030 district local plan,” he explained.

He added that the STM initiative would be run by the STM Destination Coordination Group (STMDCG), consisting of stakeholders from the government and private sector, non-governmental organisations as well as local community.

The group will be chaired by the council president.

“STM’s goal is for Mersing to be certified as Malaysia’s first sustainable destination under the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards,” said Norazmi.

He also said that MDM, through the STMDCG, would also be working with relevant government agencies in hosting group discussions with the public via social media.

“We want to hear the community’s thoughts on this new initiative.

“We hope to adopt inclusive solutions to address their feedback and hope that this will be a journey that breaks boundaries to connect communities, businesses, visitors, governments and various organisations.

“In the long term, we hope this new initiative will help build resilience for the local community,” Norazmi added. — By REMAR NORDIN

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