PORT KLANG: The state government should reinvigorate Selangor’s tourism industry, which has lost its lustre due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
He said the Selangor government must also reach out to the hotels and promote interesting and creative tourism packages in the state.
“To achieve this, I want the Selangor state government to work together with all tourism industry players from both the government agencies and private sector,’’ he said at the launch of the Port Klang Cruise Terminal (PKCT) here yesterday.
The PKCT is jointly owned by Northport (Malaysia) Berhad subsidiary Klang Port Management Sdn Bhd and Westports (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
Sultan Sharafuddin said Selangor had many interesting and historical places to visit, as well as food delicacies that could be promoted to attract local and foreign visitors.
“The Selangor state government must utilise the opening of the PKCT as an opportunity to promote interesting and historical places in Selangor in a more effective and holistic manner,’’ he added.
The Ruler also called on the state authorities to develop the local art and handicraft industries and promote them to tourists.
“There is a lack of promotion of the local handicrafts that have their own unique attraction,” he added.
The Sultan called on the state government to work together with PKCT by organising exhibitions to introduce high-quality local handicrafts to tourists who make stopovers at the terminal.
He also hoped that the opening of the PKCT would spur the creation of new job opportunities in Selangor.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who attended the event, said the opening of PKCT was a breakthrough for the ministry in its efforts to reactivate cruise services that had fallen into a lull during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a milestone for the Transport Ministry after our efforts, in cooperation with the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, to reopen cruise terminals and domestic cruise services in December 2021 and to international cruises in April 2022,’’ he said on Facebook after the event.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had dealt a major blow to PKCT, formerly known as the Boustead Cruise Centre, and its associated industry players.
“But we are happy to note that since 1 July, 2022, PKCT has received 32 cruise ships with 73,924 passenger arrivals in PKCT,’’ he wrote.
Dr Wee added that PKCT’s world-class infrastructure and handling facilities could accommodate vessels up to 348m in length and 8,000 passengers at a time.
He said his ministry would work with PKCT to extend its wharves so that more ships could call at the terminal as well as improve the infrastructure to receive more passengers in the future.
“This is our pledge to help the tourism industry of Selangor,’’ said Dr Wee.
Earlier, Port Klang Cruise Terminal Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusuf said Malaysia’s cruise tourism sector had captured the highest market share in the South-East Asia region, based on the number of port calls, before Covid-19 hit the world.
However, no cruise ships had called at the port for two and a half years due to the pandemic.
Azman Shah said the resumption of the cruise sector activities took place on July 1 this year with the arrival of cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas followed by Genting Dream on July 4.
“I am pleased to report that since July 2022, we have had 32 cruise ship calls with 73,924 passengers arriving in PKCT,’’ he added.
Among those who attended the event were Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, the Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.