Tourism revenue at Gua Tempurung dropped by as much as 50% following inaccurate media reports of a fire.
Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi, Executive Councillor for Health, Tourism and Culture, clarified that the fire was actually at Gunung Tempurung, some 2 km away from the iconic caves. The spread of inaccurate reports, according to Nolee, resulted in the cancellation of 17 tour packages worth RM13,420, which were booked for 500 visitors for a week-long trip to Gua Tempurung.
Addressing the press after welcoming 17 tour agents, bus operators and media representatives from Singapore at Gua Tempurung recently, she said, “The fire happened at Gunung Tempurung, located about 2 km from Gua Tempurung. The forest fire has not affected tourism products and services available at Gua Tempurung.”
She continued, “Unfortunately, as word spread about the alleged fire, many bookings were cancelled due to safety concerns despite Gua Tempurung’s management making clarifications through Facebook.” Nolee was confident that with this explanation, visitors would return to explore the natural beauty of Gua Tempurung.
An average of 14 million tourists from Singapore visit Malaysia every year and Perak plans to attract about 3.5 million of them to Perak during Visit Malaysia Year 2014. The 17 Singaporean visitors at Gua Tempurung spent a total of one week in Perak. Besides Gua Tempurung, they visited heritage buildings in Ipoh, Kellie’s Castle in Batu Gajah and Pangkor Island. They too sampled a wide variety of local food.
by Rosli Mansor