TOURISM players in Mersing are making preparations to welcome tourists once the interstate travel ban is lifted.
Mersing Tourism Association (MTA) secretary Ahmad Firdaus Shaik Omar said their members represent all tourism products in the district.
“With the monsoon season ending, March is the time we start opening bookings not only for day trips to the islands in Mersing but for hotels, chalets and homestays as well.
“Some of these places have remained open during the monsoon season even though there were only a handful of customers, ” he said when contacted.
He added that during the movement control order, most of their customers were from NGOs or agencies who stayed for the short duration when delivering food to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The last time we were operating fully was in September to October last year before the MCO was imposed again due to the spike in Covid-19 infections.
“Even then, the maximum number of passengers was half the normal capacity; for example if a boat could fit 12 at a time, the number allowed per trip was only six, ” said Ahmad Firdaus.
“But we received good response from local travellers and we hope to enjoy their support again once the travel ban is lifted, ” he added.
In the interim, the association has been conducting tour guide courses for members so they can improve their soft skills when dealing with travellers.
Ahmad Firdaus said the association had also worked with an expert from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu to create greater awareness of marine life conservation and environmental protection.
Meanwhile, Mersing District Council president Norazmi Amir Hamzah said it would be conducting a survey among tourism players in the district.
“The survey together with Reef Check Malaysia hopes to get the current environmental situation around Mersing as well as feedback from the public on what can be improved, ” he said.