Pahang aims high targeting 13 mln tourists this year

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Tourism Malaysia Sarawak director Nurul Ain Mohammed Yunus presents a token of appreciation to Leong for joining the dinner last night.

PAHANG (Sept 12): Pahang state government is setting a target of attracting a whopping 13 million tourists this year, said the state’s Unity, Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Leong Yu Man.

According to Leong, the government remains unwavering in its commitment to rejuvenate the tourism sector despite the global tourism industry’s pandemic-induced challenges.

“We are resolute in our efforts to facilitate a swift recovery for our tourism industry, even amid these testing times.

“Our target is to welcome 13 million tourists this year, up from 10.2 million last year, despite the pandemic’s impact.

“Encouragingly, this goal appears within reach, given the observed growth in the first and second quarters of this year,” she said.

Leong said this in an interview during a dinner as part of Tourism Malaysia’s Familiarisation Trip programme, at Azmi Ikan Stim Tempoyak in Kuala Lipis here last night.

In terms of strategy, Leong said the state government is proactively engaging with international tourism stakeholders.

“We’ve been actively participating in tourism exhibitions across Europe, the Arabian region, Singapore, China, and more.

“Additionally, familiarisation trips are being organised to keep industry professionals well-informed about Pahang,” she said.

Leong said another approach that the state government is currently taking on to further enhance tourism in Pahang includes ‘T.E.M.U.’, which stands for Taskforce, Experience, Maintenance and Management, and Unity.

“Our objective is to enrich visitor experiences with new activities, ensure the proper maintenance of tourist attractions, and foster collaboration among government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the private sectors for effective promotion,” she explained.

Noting that the rapid growth for Pahang’s tourism sector is contributed significantly by rail tourism, Leong expressed gratitude to Tourism Malaysia and other agencies for their support, and hope that rail tourism will not only benefit Kuala Lipis but also other parts of Pahang.

When asked about increasing the tourism budget for the next year, Leong said they have been diligently gathering data and are in the process of presenting a proposal for the upcoming budget.

Leong also extended a warm invitation to Sarawakians to visit Pahang.

“Pahang eagerly welcomes visitors from Sarawak. While our ecotourism is a highlight, we believe that Sarawak also offers its own unique attractions.

“We hope to establish a strong partnership that encourages residents of both regions to explore each other’s beauty,” she added.