Perak is banking on Visit Perak Year 2012 to increase its number of tourist arrival to the state.
State Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman said statistics from Tourism Ministry showed that tourist arrival to Perak had been on the decline since 2009.
“In 2009 we recorded 2.5 million tourists but last year there was a slight drop of 0.3mil,” she said recently.
For Visit Perak Year 2012, Hamidah said the state was targeting 20% more tourists.
To achieve that, the state would work with the various districts to highlight its places of interest.
“We will also be working closely with several tour companies to come up with attractive tour packages,” she added, admitting that the mismatch of attractions was one of the reasons why there was a drop in tourist arrival.
Hamidah said Perak was actually endowed with many natural attractions like the Royal Belum, which was the world’s oldest rainforest, Gua Tempurung, which was the largest limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia, Matang mangrove swamp, Lenggong Heritage Valley and Pangkor island.
“It is just a matter of how we package these attractions to draw in tourists,” she said, adding that tourist information centres in Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh and Manjung would also be upgraded to provide better services to tourists.
To highlight Visit Perak Year 2012, billboards will be erected along the North-South Expressway and at KLIA, LCCT and KL Sentral, she said.
“The state has set aside an allocation of RM2mil during Budget 2011 to promote Visit Perak Year 2012,” she said.
Local and foreign travel fairs will also be organised to highlight the event, she added.
“Besides having travel fairs in Penang, Pahang and Johor, we will also be going to Singapore and London to attract foreign tourists,” she said.
To entice visitors, Tourism Perak will also go through new media such as Facebook, Tweeter and the Internet, she added.
“We will have the soft launch of Visit Perak Year 2012 in September,” she said, adding that Perakians should help make Visit Perak Year 2012 a success.“If more tourists visit Perak, the spillover effect will be enjoyed by all Perakians,” she said.