Nazri says floods can be turned into 'voluntourism' attractions, gets slammed on social media


Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. -filepic

PETALING JAYA: There is a potential for the annual floods in the country to become a “tourism attraction”, says Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

Instead of crying over the situation going beyond control, the former tourism, arts and culture minister said that the country should seek opportunities by promoting "voluntourism", or volunteer tourism.

ALSO READ: Tok Pa: Govt approves over RM1.5bil allocation to tackle Kelantan flood problems

“If you know it is coming, then start planning now.

“Maybe we can have voluntary tourism where people come to the country to help us with the floods, and it is not about them coming here just to enjoy but for them to also learn,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian’s English portal Sinar Daily.

ALSO READ: DBKL teams stationed at 25 flood hotspots

The Padang Rengas MP added that the opportunity could be a silver lining while the country was facing economic challenges by attracting foreign tourists to join volunteer programmes during natural disasters.

“When our currency falls, it’s time for us to promote tourism for the country because it is cheap for them.

ALSO READ: Careless developers to blame for flash floods, says Negri MB

“The Singaporeans will come because they spend only one-third of their salary and to them, our five or six star hotels are just so cheap,” Nazri added.

Citing the yearly floods in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Nazri said “The flood is like a festival. Every monsoon, we have a flood festival, and people will come.

ALSO READ: Targeted measures to fight flash floods

"Because now there is voluntourism, where foreigners come to do volunteer work and they pay (to buy tickets and so on),” he added.

However, the internet users slammed the idea saying that there was nothing attractive about life-threatening floods.

ALSO READ: Flash floods hit several major roads in KL

Some Twitter users added that instead of turning it into an attraction, the government should work on preventing the natural disaster.

Between Dec 17 and 19 last year, around 18,858 people were evacuated from their homes to 64 temporary relief centres (PPS) after floods hit the Klang district, following continuous rain.

ALSO READ: Flood barriers in KL as short term measure to address the issue, says PM

In the 2014 major floods in Kelantan, almost 200,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes, almost 25,000 of them from Kuala Krai.

The authorities estimated infrastructure damage in the state to be at RM200mil due to the floods.

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Nazri Aziz , Floods , Tourism , Volunteer , Voluntourism

   

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