A thought just occurred to me recently.
In 2008, just before Melaka was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO, Melaka received 7.2 Million visitors to our City. In 2009, it jumped to 8.9 Million while 2010 we registered 10 Million. In 2011, the figures showed that Melaka received 11 Million visitors.
Though local Malaysians visited Melaka over the years, foreign visitors have also come to visit us in rising numbers. Most visits are over the weekend where Singaporeans make up the most visitors. Other visitors include Chinese, Indonesians, Thais, Indians, Australians and others.
There is a drop in visitors from Sundays to Thursdays and also hotel rooms are plentiful available during this period except over the weekends.
This means we should have activities to entice visitors to come to Melaka during normal days eg. for conventions, business courses, meetings and other artistic and cultural activities. We cannot just rely on weekend visitors.
In 2011, we received 11 million visitors. If we target 1 million extra visitors for each year from 2012 onwards, we can receive 20 million visitors by 2020!!!
A lot of marketing and concerted effort by all must be done if we were to reach this magical figure.
We need to look into the congestion problems eg. car parking within the historical zones, tram system to allow car parks in zones outside the historical city, hotel rooms for our guests ( both luxurious and budget ), cleanliness, entertainment, services and many other aspects to make our guests fill comfortable during their stay here.
New modes to entice visitors to Melaka must also be done eg. cruise liners, chartered flights to our new Melaka International airport, High Speed train system from Singapore or Bangkok, chartered buses, taxis, private cars etc. Getting into and out of Melaka must be done seamlessly and with ease.
We have to make our expansion sustainable and as green as possible so that more and more visitors will enjoy their stay in Melaka.