KOTA BARU: A Tourist Information Centre will be set up in Rantau Panjang to promote Kelantan to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who pass by the state from Thailand to destinations in other Malaysian states, said Tourism Malaysia Kelantan director Shukri Hanafiah.
Shukri said it was time that strategies were devised to tap the market, adding that information must be disseminated to tourists who enter the country through Thailand.
Countless number of promotions had been carried out. But information is not going down to the targeted group, (which is) the tourists, he said at the Penang-Kelantan Mini Travel Mart organised by Tourism Malaysia at the New Pacific Hotel here.
The mart was to match make travel trade agents and hoteliers in both states.
Last year, we have 4.2 million visitors to Kelantan, 15% of whom are foreigners, most of whom travel from Thailand.
Thailand offers competitive airfare to attract foreigners. If we can devise the right strategy, we will be able to tap this market too as most of the visitors are headed for Genting Highlands, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian and other local attractions from Bangkok.
They have to pass by Kota Baru to reach the other destinations. We want the tourists to stay overnight or longer in Kelantan rather then by-passing this culture-rich state, he said, adding that other attractions here include handicraft, wayang kulit (shadow play), traditional kite flying and top spinning.
We are studying the profile of visitors apart from observing their spending habits and exploring the destinations they would be interested in and will make the necessary recommendations to the state government, he said.
Kelantan Tourist Association vice-president Mustafa Ibrahim said the fair organised recently by Tourism Malaysia Penang with the co-operation of Tourism Kelantan and Kelantan Tourism Action Council was the first for the state.
Such fair augurs well to revive the interest of Kelantanese to visit Penang. Until the early 70s, Penang was the gateway to Mecca for Kelantanese to perform the haj.
To revive the interest to visit Penang, we need more information about the state. Even I, as a tour agent, do not have access to clear information pertaining to accommodation and transportation to places of interest, he said.
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