“Perak is a treasure trove of niche products” so said Puan Ching Yoke Har, the Acting Deputy Director General (Marketing) of Tourism Malaysia when she officially opened Tourism Malaysia’s Niche Product Seminar held at the Impiana Hotel recently. Also present at the seminar was Tourism Malaysia’s Perak State Director Nurshamsida Abdul Rahman and newly-appointed CEO for Perak Tourism Musa Dun.
The seminar whose purpose was to create awareness of the niche products available in the state and country, invited speakers from the backgrounds of heritage, weddings and honeymoon, golf, scuba diving, spa & wellness and ecotourism and bio-diversity. More than 120 people attended.
The various speakers all agreed that Perak has good niche products but they must be well displayed and promoted with clear signage directions as well as have good service provided by the product operators.
Chris Syer, the Executive Director of Malaysia Golf Tourism Association gave an example, saying that “Meru Valley Golf Resort is a wonderful golf course but getting there is confusing because of poor signage”.
Regarding heritage, speaker Mohd Taib of Perak Heritage Society highlighted that although Perak had an abundance of heritage products this “niche product also needed trained tourist guides which are currently lacking, to explain the products correctly”.
For ecotourism, Andrew Sebastian of Malaysia Nature Society said that “Perak should be called the ‘Land of the Hornbills’ because there are a total of 10 species of the Hornbill that can be found at Royal Belum and nowhere else in the country.
Tourism Malaysia’s State Director Nurshamsida acknowledged the participants’ comments saying that Perak had a wealth of niche products citing examples like the magnificent Royal Belum State Park, white-water rafting at Gopeng and bird watching locations at Kuala Gula and Kinta Nature Park, adding that “with continued promotions the products will consistently attract visitors”.
From golf to wellness spas, Perak has it all. Now what remains is to aggressively promote these niche products and monitor their progress in the overall contribution towards the tourism industry in the state.