Nov 16, 2006

Pahang aims for 7.8 million tourists

Pahang aims for 7.8 million tourists
By Roslina Mohamad

Thursday November 16, 2006

KUANTAN: Tourism Malaysia Pahang targets tourist arrival for next year to be around 7.8 million with an estimated spending of RM3.2bil while holidaying in the state.

Its director Jefri Munir said the increase in visitors would be expected as the country would launch Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

“There will be a lot of spectacular events and festivals at state level and we hope these colourful and interesting activities will be attractive enough to draw in more tourists.

“Locals and foreigners will be able to experience what the state has to offer throughout the year,” he said during a Hari Raya open house in Cherating recently.

Jefri said there were five major events listed in the state namely International Monsoon Madness Windsurfing Challenge, Sungai Pahang International Rafting Expedition, International Bird Race, Food and Fruit Festival and Dirt Bike Challenge.

These events had been scheduled between January and September.

On the number of tourists arrival targeted for this year, Jefri said it was at five million people.

“However, we have already recorded 4.9 million up to June and are expecting the number to reach seven million by year end.

“The amount spent up to June was RM1.5bil and we expect the figure to hit RM3bil,” he added.

Jefri said the length of stay during the same period was an average of 1.9 days, almost meeting the target of an average of two days.

With all the promotions already in place to usher in Visit Malaysia 2007, the average length of stay was expected to be 2.5 days, he added.

Jefri said some RM300,000 had been spent on courses and promotional activities to publicise Pahang.

“The courses include those catering to hoteliers, operators of chalets, restaurants, hostels, supermarkets and homestay programmes, members of taxi, car rental, tourist bus and trishaw associations, teachers and coordinators of tourism clubs in schools, village headmen and chairmen of village security and development committees.

“These are the frontliners and the courses are tailored on how to deal with them and ways to promote the products available locally,” Jefri said.

It was important to portray an image of Malaysians as “helpful and friendly people” as word of mouth was the best form of advertisement, he added. - The Star


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