Perak Tourism Association (PTA) held its third “Teh Tarik” session on Monday, July 31 at Symphony Suites Hotel, Ipoh. It was attended by about 50 industry players, some coming from Pangkor and Kuala Lumpur.

With all the hype coming from the newly-opened Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), its representative briefed on the theme park. There are more than 10 cafes, each with its own theme and are open for birthday parties, themed dinners, weddings, team-building and family-day events.

The theme park is built for people of all ages, as they have various rides and shows for people with different interests. The six zones in MAPS include the Animation Square, Dream Zone, Blast Off Zone, Live Action Zone, Fantasy Forest Zone and Lakeside Zone.

One of the subjects discussed during the meeting concerned the difficulties related to medical tourism, as direct flights to Ipoh are limited. Thus, with the plans of building a new airport, hopefully, there will be direct flights from Indonesia and other countries. This will broaden the scope of medical tourism, as Ipoh has its potentials.

Apart from that, questions on what the future holds for medical centres were also raised. With the current technology and advantages like daycare surgery, industry players asked the relevance of hospitals in the future. One of the participants replied that hospitals would still be a required necessity in the future.

Since Symphony Suites is facing a row of shops selling the famous Ipoh pomelos, Judy Ng, the hotel’s general manager, suggested that the place be given an appropriate name.

“If you read blog posts on locations to buy pomelos, bloggers could only indicate the landmarks. It should be named something like Pusat Limau Bali for everyone to use. Wouldn't it be more convenient?” asked Judy.

Hoteliers complained how unregistered homestays and guest houses are encroaching into their business. They questioned the lack or absence of regulations. The authorities, they reasoned, should exercise some form of control to prevent a free-for-all.

Chairman of PTA, Hj Mohd. Odzman Abdul Kadir expressed his gratitude for the input given by participants. The discussion, he said, served as a platform for industry players to exchange ideas and be better informed.

The next meeting will be held at MAPS in September.

Khaleeja