By: Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali
IPOH: Singapore and East Asian countries have been identified as significant contributors to the number of tourists visiting the city of Ipoh, especially during the Visit Ipoh Year (TMI) 2023.
The city, known for its heritage buildings and geopark, is also making efforts to attract a considerable number of tourists from China and Western Europe.
This sentiment was expressed by the Mayor of Ipoh, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, who described the ongoing TMI, which is approaching its sixth month, as encouraging.
“The response to TMI so far has been positive, and we have implemented and will continue to carry out various programmes throughout the year, including an international art programme in early June.
“So far, two countries, through two cities, namely Medan, Indonesia, and Nanning, China, have agreed to participate. Local authorities in Perak are also involved.
“Currently, besides local visitors, we have seen a significant number of tourists from Singapore and East Asian regions such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Now, our target is to penetrate the Chinese market.
“After that, we will explore the potential of Western Europe, especially the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland, to attract their citizens to come to Ipoh,” he said.
He made these remarks when asked to comment on the response to TMI 2023 thus far and the flow of visitors to Ipoh.
TMI will also serve as a connection to Visit Perak Year (TMP) next year.
Regarding improvements in transportation facilities, particularly the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway, he stated that discussions have taken place.
“I have met with representatives from KTM and the Railway Asset Corporation (RAC), and they have explained that starting in June, a cleaning team will be appointed at the train stations.
“It is also understood that in July, there will be train services connecting the northern region, starting from Padang Besar, directly to Ipoh,” he added.
Furthermore, he emphasised that every industry player should play a role and take initiative according to their capacities and capabilities to contribute to the success of TMI 2023.
“For example, hotels may offer attractive packages for specific periods during TMI 2023.
“Transportation providers may offer special fares or specific packages for tourists who wish to utilise their services,” he concluded.