Malacca outlines strategies to lure 6.8 million visitors
Among the strategies to be adopted were developing more quality products and enhanced transportation services for tourists in line with the state's Open Theme Park concept. -The Star
By CHEN PELF YEEN
MALACCA, MALAYSIA: Despite rising fuel costs and an impending slowdown in the global economy, the Malacca government is confident of meeting its target of 6.8 million visitors this year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said that several strategies would be put into place to maintain tourist arrivals.
"With the rise in fuel costs, there will surely be a reduction in global travel, and hence foreign tourists to Malacca.
"However, we will be able to offset this with an increase in domestic tourist arrivals.
"Last year, domestic tourists accounted for 77.3% of visitors to the state," he said in performing a ground-breaking ceremony for the RM40mil Eye On Malaysia project here on Monday.
The state received 6.023 million foreign tourists last year with Singaporeans making up the highest number with 263,253, followed by China (232,426), Indonesia (128,057), Saudi Arabia (59,558) and Taiwan (4,372).
Among the strategies to be adopted, he said, were developing more quality products and enhanced transportation services for tourists in line with the state's Open Theme Park concept.
He said a vibrant tourism sector would help cushion the negative effects of the recent fuel price rise by helping generate more revenue for the state and the people.
"It is not the end of things, and we must not despair, as life must go on. Those brave enough to face the challenges will succeed," he added.
Although the multi-million ringgit Malacca River rehabilitation and beautification project is yet to be completed, Mohd Ali noted that it drew thousands during the recent nine-day river festival.
"When we started the festival last year, there were only 20 stalls which recorded sales of several thousand ringgit. This year, the number of stalls increased to 120 with RM2.6mil in sales over the nine days," he said.
He added that the state also recently received applications from several parties to develop hotels along Malacca River.
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