Melaka eyes tourism boost as transit stop for Indonesian umrah pilgrims

MELAKA: The Melaka Tourism Promotion Division will introduce a tourism sub-sector that makes the state a point of transit passage for Indonesians travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the umrah via Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

State tourism, heritage and culture committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis (pic) said through the initiative, tourists from Indonesia, especially those entering Melaka through the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at the Melaka-Dumai International Ferry Terminal in Kota Laksamana here, would stay and shop in the state before going to Kuala Lumpur.

"So far, we have opened the sea route for tourists from Indonesia through the Melaka-Dumai International Ferry Terminal and we are also working to reopen the Melaka International Airport in Batu Berendam.

"With this move, tourists from Indonesia will stop to spend a day or two in Melaka before travelling to Kuala Lumpur and this will not only increase tourist arrivals but also benefit industry players," he told a press conference here on Tuesday (May 10).

He said medical tourism, which had received very encouraging response from Indonesians in the past, was also seen to be recovering after the recent reopening of borders on April 1.

He said in an effort to revive Melaka's tourism sector, the division was also designing a variety of family tourism packages at reasonable prices to attract tourists from all over the country as well as Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.

Meanwhile, he said some 200 tourism sector players in the state would be brought to Pekanbaru and Dumai, Indonesia for business-to-business (B2B) talks with government representatives there at the end of this month.

He said through the platform, at least 180 B2B memorandums of understanding (MoU) would be signed by tourism industry players in Melaka, helping them generate income and revitalising the tourism sector in both countries.

"We target at least one million tourists from Indonesia out of the total tourist arrival goal of 5.6 million this year. More aggressive promotion needs to be done so that the target can be achieved following the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Earlier, tourism industry players in Melaka signed 132 MoUs during our B2B discussions in Jakarta and it is a very good start for the country's tourism industry," he said.

He added that the state government was also working to make Melaka the host for the 32nd Malaysia Film Festival Awards later this year.

"It has been proposed that the festival be held at Encore Melaka. Discussions will be held with the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (Finas) soon,” he added. – Bernama

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