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Spicing Up Tourism in the New Normal 

By Mei Kuan

The three-day Perak Tourism Boost Programme 2020 held its closing ceremony on Tuesday, September 29 at the Lost World of Tambun Hotel with the presence of guest of honour Dato’ Nolee Ashilin binti Dato’ Mohammed Radzi, Executive Councillor for Housing, Local Government and Tourism.

Running in its 4th series with a total of 74 participants selected on a first come first serve basis, the programme was organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) Perak in collaboration with the state government via Tourism Perak.

It served as a training medium for tourism industry players besides providing information on available financial aids and incentives to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic by various agencies such as the North Corridor Economic Region, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (a micro credit facility), SME Bank and Tourism Perak.

“Segments of this programme encompasse promotion and marketing, aids and service, facilities and fund as well as networking sessions so that we can collectively revive the state tourism industry. Although the state government has implemented multiple strategies, policies, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and carried out training, one important element we should showcase is cooperation among tourism industry players to develop packages which can attract domestic tourists to make repeat trips here,” Nolee explained during the press conference.

According to her, Perak is still the preferred destination for domestic tourists in Malaysia, citing the 2019 statistics where Perak received 10.1 million domestic arrivals who stayed overnight, the highest among the states.

“With the pandemic this year, we have a target of at least 5 million domestic tourists to visit Perak till the end of the year. We will launch phase 2 of “Travel Perak Lah” tourism voucher coming October which aids travel and tour agents in addition to tourism players offering accommodation and activities. Beside that, the Perak Hop-On Hop-Off bus service will offer even more attractive packages,” she highlighted. 

“We emphasize on the importance of carrying on with the SOPs seriously and adhering to the good practice guides released. Visitors have got to play their part as responsible tourists to ensure a safe haven is maintained for domestic tourism,” Nolee added. 

Present were Asrul bin Zakaria, Director of MOTAC Perak, Nurmalis binti Musa, CEO of Tourism Perak Management Berhad, Nurul Nuzairi bin Mohd Azahari, General Manager of Lost World of Tambun and Dato’ Haji Zuhuri bin Ahmad, Chairman of Taiping Tourist Association.

“We hope that the cooperation between the federal and state government will be continued in the effort to spice up the tourism sector in Perak,” Asrul stated.

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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