Is Visit Perak Year too bland?

By Aida Aziz

IPOH: Now in the second month of Visit Perak Year 2024 (TMP2024), there are already many voices claiming that its festivities lack vibrancy.

Many are comparing TMP2024 with the Visit Melaka Year and Visit Perlis Year, which are also happening concurrently.

On average, the people of Perak expressed their appreciation for the tourism menu available in the two states, alongside various events that can attract visitors from diverse backgrounds and ages.

According to the Senior Lecturer of UniKL Royal College of Medicine Perak, Ibrahim Ahmad, the Perak government’s ambition of targeting eight million domestic tourists and 350,000 international tourists, needs to be more aggressive.

“Every agency directly involved in state tourism promotion, such as Tourism Perak, museums, Municipal or District Councils, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations, must continue to work hard to promote TMP 2024. This is to ensure it doesn’t appear lackluster.

“The promotion should be comprehensive, involving various parties,” he said when contacted.

He emphasized that electronic signboards with various information of attractions should be installed at every entrance of this state.

Additionally, information displays along the highways throughout the state should also include TMP 2024.

“Residents of Perak who are studying or working abroad need to be provided with information about TMP 2024. Cultivating the culture of travel among the people is a significant challenge in the tourism industry.

“It cannot be done casually or with indifference,” he said.

Ibrahim, who is also the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Historical Society Perak Branch, said that Perak is rich with tourism products based on natural attractions, historical sites, and the uniqueness of culture and heritage.

Touching on the Visit Melaka Year compared to TMP, he said Perak should have an advantage as there are many attractive destinations to visit.

“The larger state (Perak) should provide advantages, allowing visitors to stay longer and go to every place.”

There are many unique features, especially in terms of heritage and culture. The Rawa, Mandailing, Boyan, Javanese people each have their own identities that can be highlighted as tourism products,” he said.

He added, the promoted tourism products must truly meet the needs of the public.

“Are the highlighted tourism products truly captivating the hearts of travelers? Are the tourism packages worth the traveler’s expenses?

“Similarly, the accommodation facilities should not only be comfortable but also calming to the mind. All of this needs to be examined, as there are concerns that TMP 2024 might turn out to be more hype than reality and tarnish the state’s image,” he said.

One of the residents, Wani Shariffuddin, said that the vibrancy of the Tourism Management Plan (TMP) is not strongly felt, alongside many other areas that are not highlighted.

“There seems to be a lack of publicity about interesting places or tourism packages that can capture the hearts of visitors; even signs and signboards are scarce.

“Perhaps only Ipoh and Taiping are commonly visited because of their popularity, but if you think about it, there are many other places worth exploring.

“Besides, before implementing the TMP, prioritize the repair and maintenance of heritage streets and buildings so that visitors won’t be disappointed due to constant closures or ongoing renovations,” he said.

Hadi Abdul Zaman also mentioned that the preparations for TMP are not impressive and do not capture the interest of the public.

“Visit Perlis and Melaka Year is better compared to Perak; there is still much that lags behind, comprehensive promotions are needed, reaching everyone,” he said.

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