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Hotel rooms in Ipoh are unable to accommodate the influx of visitors

By Aida Aziz

IPOH: The number of hotel rooms in the city of Ipoh is insufficient and unable to accommodate sudden influxes of visitors, especially during festive holidays and weekends.

The concern was expressed by the Mayor of Ipoh, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, who acknowledged that despite the existence of alternatives such as homestay and so on, they still cannot resolve the issue.

Furthermore, as a city, the number of rooms is still far behind compared to other tourist locations like Penang and Cameron Highlands.

“The issue in Ipoh is the sudden influx of many tourists, especially on weekends, but there are not enough hotel rooms, and they are always full.

“Yes, this is sudden (the arrival of visitors) for us now. Indeed, if we look at the tourism data in this city, there is a significant increase in terms of tourism.

“We really don’t have enough hotels, but for now, we allow certain parties to operate Airbnb and homestays.

“Studies show that we need at least 12,000 rooms, but currently, there are only about 8,000,” he told reporters recently.

Rumaizi added that among the solutions that need to be implemented is the creation of more hotels for the comfort of the visiting guests.

“For this short-term solution, we allow Airbnb and homestays to operate to accommodate the increased numbers.

“Currently, in Ipoh, there is only one 5-star hotel, and three others are resort hotels. If all goes well, there might be another 5-star hotel by June,” he stated.

He added, the records also indicate nearly 300,000 international tourists to this city, which is the highest in history.

“Ipoh is becoming one of the major tourist destinations worldwide.

“This can be seen from the entry data of almost 300,000 international tourists through Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in 2023, according to the Immigration Department,” he said.

In another development, he said several new tourism products have been planned for implementation in Ipoh.

These include, he stated, the expansion and rebranding of the Japanese Garden in Dr. Seenivasagam Park, Tin Lakes City in Kolam Rasi Jaya, Tambun Cave with prehistoric Neolithic relics.

“It includes the development of new tourism products in the educational and family-oriented concept of Gunung Lang recreational area, involving millions of ringgit in investment.

“All these developments are carried out through private finance initiatives (PFI)”, he added.

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