IPOH: The number of foreign tourists visiting Ipoh city has increased by more than tenfold since before the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Rumaizi Baharin.
The Ipoh mayor said as of April this year, the city has welcomed about 50,000 tourists from various countries compared to about 4,600 foreign visitors between 2018 and 2019.
"According to the statistics, I hope we can get more visitors by the end of the year.
"The numbers are promising and it is a positive sign," he said at a press conference after a briefing by the Tourism Promotion Organisation (TPO) for Asia-Pacific Cities here on Thursday (May 11).
"We are seeing higher numbers from passenger counts at the airport to the hotel occupancy rate, which are more than 80%.
"Like a business, we cannot be satisfied by this response and are always hopeful to do better and see further improvements," he added.
Rumaizi said with the TPO actively helping fellow members in promoting the respective cities' tourism industry, Ipoh is getting more tourists from China.
"They used to just bypass the city when travelling between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
"They are now stopping in Ipoh," he said.
TPO secretary-general Woo Kyoung-ha said a number of cities from China are interested to know more about Ipoh.
"We have tourism information exchange programmes and some Chinese cities want to know more about Ipoh.
"With the pandemic almost over, we are eager to reinvigorate the tourism industry," he said, adding that Ipoh is a founding member of TPO.
"We will actively promote Ipoh, so rest assured that the city will be one of the important beneficiaries of our activities," he added.