Chinese tourists lead influx as Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017 kicks off

05-Jan-2017 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

China will be one of the main sources of the 5.5 million visitors expected during Visit Beautiful Terengganu (VBT) 2017.

This was evident from 3,000 Asean-and-beyond guests – one third of whom were Chinese – who were the pioneer batch of tourists at VBT 2017′s special welcome reception at the state indoor stadium in Gong Badak last night.

It is believed that many of China’s roughly 40 million Muslims are keen to not only visit Terengganu, but make multi billion ringgit investments in the state’s business, commerce, trade and halal industry sectors.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said China has pledged to fully support the state’s tourism initiative, especially as Kuala Terengganu and the republic’s richest village in Huaxi (whose residents are all millionaires) are twin cities.

At the special welcome reception organised by Forte Hospitality Management Sdn Bhd, the Monspace Group also showed its commitment to the state by agreeing to look into the possibility of arranging chartered flights from China, Asean, the Middle-East and North Africa.

Forte Hospitality Management arranged 86 tour buses, complete with guides, to ferry in 3,000 tourists from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu last night for a three-day stay at 17 hotels.

“Their visit will, among others, take them to various touristic spots which showcase Terengganu’s products and services, and to offer business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

“At the same time, their visit will offer locals an opportunity to increase their earnings, participate in entrepreneurship and improve their socio-economic well-being,” said Razif.

He added that the tourists package includes a tourism seminar; a visit to Kampung Cina; Pasar Payang; Pulau Warisan; the Noor Arfa Batik, Songket and Handicraft Centre; the Batu Bersurat memorial; and Pengkalan Gawi in Tasik Kenyir.

“I hope local industry players will take cognisance of the state’s tourism potential and the industry’s importance as a great money-spinner to spur our economy to greater heights,” said Razif.

He added that 15,000 tourists are expected for January alone, and they are expected to visit inland attractions, minus Terengganu’s idyllic islands, owing to the on-going monsoon season.

“We expect the number to pick up tenfold once the monsoon eases in March, as our emerald islands are a big attraction for snorkelling, diving and sailing.

“Global television network CNN has adjudged Pulau Perhentian’s beaches as the 13th best out of 100 in the world,” he said.

At the same time, Razif cautioned hoteliers, traders, transport providers, eateries and the like not to fleece tourists by hiking prices, as this would leave a negative impression and deter repeat visitors.

“Look at the long term gains, as Terengganu is a hidden gem with distance no longer a challenge (thanks to) easy accessibility, its scenic highways through lush rainforests, majestic valleys and evergreen mountains.

“Be gracious hosts, cordial and courteous always. Otherwise, we (risk driving) them away with bad attributes,” said Razif.


Category: China

Print This Post

Comments are closed.