The COVID-19 pandemic has a huge tourism impact on the residents in Manjung district—especially in Pangkor Island, a major tourist destination in Perak.
Furthermore, with the current situation still not showing much change, the possibility for the resort island to recover immediately is still uncertain.
The President of Manjung Municipal Council (MPM), Syamsul Hazeman Md Saleh said, tourism is the biggest contributor to the economy in Manjung.
According to him, the pandemic has paralysed the industry while most of its players are going through an increasingly critical state.
“Before Pangkor was made a tax-free island, it recorded 1.3 million visitors in 2019.
“Since Pangkor became a duty-free island, a total of 515,000 tourists visited from January to March 2020 before the pandemic hit,” he said.
He mentioned this during the Local Authority Discourse Session – Post COVID-19 Tourism which was broadcast on the Facebook page of the Ipoh City Council (MBI) TV Radio Station.
This discourse, an online talk show, is MBI’s initiative in highlighting current issues.
Explaining further, Syamsul Hazeman said that with the permission to cross states and the implementation of the tourism bubble from November to December, Pangkor recorded an attendance of about 1.8 million visitors.
“Therefore, there is no denying that tourism is a contributor to the economy of Manjung, Pangkor and Teluk Batik.
“However, post-COVID-19 tourism is now very bleak. In Pangkor alone, we have 1,800 hotel rooms including homestays.
“Adding the ones in Manjung, the total is about 3,000 rooms. While in Lumut, there are 2,300 traders who rely on tourism,” he said.