Perlis To Develop Tourism Sector
Perlis, a small state in northern Peninsular Malaysia, intends to develop and enhance its tourism sector in an effort to attract tourists to make the state as a stopover location. Even though Perlis records about 2.5 million tourists annually, most of them only pass through the state in order to continue their journey to Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
Towards this end, Menteri Besar Azlan Man said Perlis planned to create attractions so that transit tourists stop over for visits before continuing their journey to their destinations. “The state government plans to create tourism products to encourage tourists to participate in at least a two-night programme here,” he said to Bernama in an exclusive interview here.
He said Perlis has 22 kilometres of coastline and borders its neighbour, Thailand, and there were many economic activities that could be developed, including water theme park. Besides that, the state will also make use of the Timah Tasoh Dam by increasing its water level by 2.5 metres in order to create various environmentally-friendly recreational centres such as jet ski outlet.
Azlan said the state government would also reintroduce its Snake, Reptile and Bird Park in Batu Pahat to tourists by improving it with the different types of animals and upgrade it into a mini safari.
“Accordingly, Perlis needs more hotels of three-star, four-star or five-star, where investors who come here to invest in this sector can own 100 per cent ownership in terms of equity. This is one of the incentives offered to them,” said the menteri besar. According to him, the number of rooms available in the state currently was less than 1,000 and Perlis was targeting to increase this to 1,500 hotel rooms around Arau and Kangar in one-year period.
The development of the tourism sector is included in the state’s strategic plan, Perlis 2012-2030, to draw RM34.5 billion in investment value into the state. “On average, Perlis targets an investment value of RM2 billion and this is the minimum estimate that needs to be achieved. Last year, Perlis did not have a huge investment inflow, but this year, through the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), we have obtained a project worth RM70.8 million,” he said.
Azlan said the state would also receive a project of more than RM40 million to expand its high-speed broadband (HSBB) network and cooperating with Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) to build an environmentally-friendly rubber factory in Chuping, which also involved an investment of RM40 million. In the few months under his leadership, Azlan said the state government had brought in investments totalling RM150 million.
On increasing the number of houses to meet the demand from residents in the state, Azlan said Perlis also planned to provide 2,000 housing units under 1Malaysia Housing Scheme (PR1MA), and the locations have been identified. “We are also planning to build 1,000 units of medium-cost houses through a cooperation with the private sector. It will also build high-end houses such as bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses.
“We are aware that economic development is accompanied by increase in housing units to meet the demand by residents, not only for those already living in the state but also for those who come to reside here, whether they are involved in economic activities or those who are working here,” he added. Source.