The Perak State Government is optimistic of achieving a target of 5 million tourists, domestic and foreign, to the state. The Electric Train Service (ETS) offered by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) would definitely boost Perak’s tourism industry, in conjunction with Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015.

Director of Tourism Malaysia (Perak) Ibrahim Seddiqi Talib expressed confidence that this would not be a difficult target to achieve based on last year’s impressive performance whereby Perak recorded over five million visitors.

He also said the state government would continue with its strategic partnership with KTMB and nine local travel agencies to draw up interesting packages for tourists and to improve on existing tourism products.

“To further enhance our services, we’re distributing brochures to passengers on ETS, particularly to tourists, so that they could refer to them for information on available activities and attractive destinations to visit within the state,” he said at a press conference at the Ipoh Railway Station on Saturday, January 17.

Ibrahim acknowledged that the recent floods that hit many parts of the country, including Perak, affected approximately 10 to 20 per cent of tourist areas in the state such as the Royal Belum Rainforest.

However, he assured that remedial actions had been taken to restore the areas to their original conditions. Therefore, there would be a minimal impact on the state’s tourism agenda.

He added that the industry would not experience an increase in prices despite the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on April 1. There are several factors to offset the increase, such as the decline in oil prices which will help to defer costs.

KTMB Senior Marketing Manager Noordin Kimi said that routes to two new destinations namely, Butterworth and Padang Besar, will be introduced in September.

“We hope to attract more passengers to our rail service without them worrying about safety. There’s only one fatal accident in 1991,” Nordin added.

Luqman