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Saturday, February 14, 2009

MELAKA BEATS 2008 VISITORS ARRIVAL TARGET

15th. February 2009

Yes, we managed to beat the 6.8 million visitors target for 2008.7.2 million visitors visited Melaka.

All Malaccans should be proud of this achievements BUT we must not rest our laurels. All of us did our small part. The Melaka Government, NGOs, web site promoters, hoteliers, tour operators, retailers and even Malaccans who show our kindness and hospitality to our visitors. For years ahead, we should continue and strive to reach 10 million visitors in the future.

On the ground, some hitches need to be rectified. My wife and I tried to take the Melaka River night cruise during the CNY recently. Lots of local tourists were also queuing up to buy tickets but the ticket sellers were not too helpful. Due to miscommunication, we were not able to buy our tickets for our boat ride. Besides, the ticket counter, it will be better for the boats to alight passengers on one pier and then go to the next pier to pick up the awaiting passengers. That night, only one pier is used where passengers need to climb one to two boats to get onto the third boat for their tour.

For the Eye of Malaysia, the surroundings need to be spruce up with more trees. Now, the area looks like a construction site which is dusty and not conducive to walking visitors. We want more visitors to Melaka to enjoy themselves during their stay but it is important that we constantly review and improve any shortcomings.

Traffic jams from Ayer Keroh to city centre can take 1 to 1.5 hours and authorities must take pro-active action.

Also, we can build a proper pier for cruise ships to embark and disembark. Due to lack of facilities, cruise ships are now by-passing Melaka from Singapore to Phuket or Penang. This is another loss of high worth visitors. A cruise ship can bring in 1000 to 2000 passengers at one time. A food for thought.

Also, do not encourage tourists to visit Banda Hilir area only. Other areas such as Melaka New Chinatown in Jalan Bunga Raya, Jalan Kee Ann, Jalan Jawa just outside the heritage zone have plentiful of sites and eating stalls.

We need to disperse and develop other tourist attractions outside the heritage zone. If not, traffic jams will continue and we will suffer from our own success in attracting more and more visitors to historic Melaka - World Heritage City.

TW Kang www.tourism-melaka.com

Thursday February 12, 2009 Malacca tourism beats target

By CHEN PELF YEEN

MALACCA: It appears that the global economic slowdown has not affected the state’s tourism numbers as arrivals have surpassed the 6.8 million target set for last year. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state drew in 7.2 million tourists to the historic city in 2008.

“Domestic tourists made up 84% of the total, or six million visitors, with the remaining 1.2 million or 14% being foreign tourists,” he said here recently. He added that Singaporeans made up 19.3% of the foreign tourists followed by those from China (17%), Indonesia (9.4%) , Hong Kong (4.4%) and Saudi Arabia (4.3%).

He said that new attractions such as the Malacca River boat cruise, Menara Taming Sari and Eye On Malaysia were among the factors that helped the state maintain its high number of tourists. “We hope to attract more visitors this year with the addition of several new attractions,” he said, adding that the state aimed to attract eight million visitors by 2010.

Among the attractions were a water screen and aerospace dome next to the Eye On Malaysia to be ready by April and a monorail and roller coaster in Taman Rempah set for completion in September, he said.

He added that Mydin Hypermarket and Jusco Shopping Mall, scheduled for completion in April and December respectively, would also help lure visitors.


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