PETALING JAYA: Terengganu aims to boost tourism by attracting large cruise ships to stop over at the state during their voyages by 2021.
Terengganu tourism, culture and information technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said there were talks to arrange for cruise ships to include the state as one of their stops.
Although the plans have been presented at the state exco meeting, the state government is expecting for arrangements to be ready by 2021 as talks are still ongoing.
“We have smaller cruise ships docking here, but now we are planning to arrange for cruises from Singapore to make Terengganu one of their stops.
“What we are looking at now are larger vessels, with the capacity for 3,000 passengers and 1,500 workers, ” he said.
Plans are underway, he said, to bring passengers to visit Kuala Terengganu’s iconic drawbridge, museums and other tourist attractions in the state.
He added that cultural performances would also be included in the itinerary.
Ariffin said plans were still in the early stages, and there were no issues with cruise ships that serve alcohol or have gambling on board.
“On our side, we would not serve alcohol or organise gambling and we will not be going up to the cruise ships. We will only entertain the passengers when they get off.
“These tourists would only stop by for about seven to eight hours, they will not be spending the night here, ” he said. Terengganu MCA executive advisor Datuk Toh Chin Yaw said the move was “definitely good”, but the overall policies in the state need to be tourist-friendly.
“The tourism industry is doing well in Terengganu. But we must be prepared and have the will to make the tourism boost a reality, ” he said when contacted.