HOTELS not only play an important role as a service provider for accommodation but also function as an agent to promote local tourism products, said Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim.
He said the Ipoh City Council has been organising numerous programmes and events to promote tourism and hotels could assist by determining the potential places of interest, such as the rice fields, rubber, palm oil plantations and the limestone hills, which may not be a significant tourism vebue to the locals but an interesting attraction to foreign guests.
“With the increasing destination choices and various sources of information available, I am sure the hotel staff will be a reliable source to tourists.
“For this reason I hope the staff of every hotel in Ipoh will be equipped with all the information on the various tourism attractions,” he said in his speech before officiating at the opening of the Symphony Suites Hotel in Ipoh recently.
Roshidi said he had always used city tourism as a strategic element in urban planning and recognised the importance of tourism to enhance the sustainable development of Ipoh City.
“Through this policy we have always encouraged and given priority to the processing of planning approvals for such development.
“I hope and believe that this policy will be continued by the future management of the council after my retirement in January,” he added.
Unique Symphony Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Lee Chee Ming said when the company first started building the hotel about three-and-a-half years ago, they were motivated by the desire of many business associates and friends for accommodation with better amenities.
He said the hotel was to fulfill the need for a more comfortable accomodation to come back to after a busy day at the office.
Lee suggested that a duty-free shopping complex be set up in the city, as the duty free shopping at the airport was not good enough as it did not cater to land based tourists.
“Incoming tourists exiting the airport will not want to carry things around when they move about, and out bound tourists usually will not have enough time to shop.
“It is not going to be easy getting approval but I believe that if we try hard enough it can be done,” he added.