Melaka now emphasizing more on developing new Tourism Infrastructure. This strategy are plan to remain competitive in the industry. To be competitive means a package of diversified sectors on tourism products but in the same time preserving the age old history. So apart from promoting the UNESCO historical world heritage site, Melaka also have to follow current market trend such as the tendency of society especially with large family to go vacation at place with many fun facilities for their children. So Melaka must develop a suitable theme park to cater such needs.
Enhancing service and facilities for specific target country also will be helpful because they will feel comfortable and like to come again. For example the Arabs like to come here just because the weather and the halal food surrounding. But they tend to find dining place that serve food that have the equality with their culture. We can take advantage of this clannish style tourist by creating a place similar to hometown.
Read the Bernama interview with State Economic Planet Unit about Melaka tourism atmosphere as Melaka spearheading to be Fully Developed State in 2010
Melaka Envisages ‘Arab City’ To Boost Tourism
By Manik Mehta
MELAKA, March 25 (Bernama) — Melaka, whose tourism sector accounts for about 30 per cent of its gross domestic product, expects the ‘Arab City’ being set up in the state to bolster tourism inflow, particularly from oil-rich Arab countries.
In an interview with Bernama at his office here, Datuk Zainal Hussin, the deputy state secretary (development) of the state economic planning unit in the Chief Minister’s Department, said the Middle East was a “very important market” for the state’s tourism sector.
He said the sector clocked 7.2 million tourists last year, exceeding the target of 6.8 million set for that year, adding that about 80 per cent of the tourists were domestic while the rest were foreigners.
According to Zainul, Egyptian entrepreneur Sheikh Saleh was setting up the ambitious Arab City project which would offer facilities of interest to Arab tourists and a wide range of original Arab food specialties. The project will embrace about 250 bazar-style stalls.
“The Arab City will involve a RM300 million investment,” said Zainul.
An agreement to set up the bazaar has already been signed by Melaka.
Besides the Arab City, Melaka is promoting an open theme park, a planetorium, the creation of the biggest bowling alley, a ‘snow centre’ complete with snow landscape and skiing facilities.
Melaka has, meanwhile, introduced a novel way to take tourists around in two red double-decked buses imported from London to give tourists “the feeling of being in London”, as Zainul put it.
The state’s tourism industry is expected to get a further boost through Bollywood. Melaka is toying with the idea of creating a studio in the state to replicate a typical Bollywood-style studio.
When Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan visited Melaka last November to receive the honorific title of ‘datuk’ from the Melaka chief minister, large numbers of fans visited the state, not only from within Malaysia but also from Singapore and Indonesia.
The actor’s presence and the power of Bollywood films gave Melaka tremendous exposure in the international media. The popularity of the event prompted Melaka tourism planners to consider setting up a film studio to attract film producers from Mumbai and, in effect, Indian tourists.
“Shah Rukh Khan told us that he would like to do a film in Malaysia and I hope he will consider it,” said Zainul.
India is one of the top 10 countries of tourism traffic to Melaka. By creating the studio, Zainul hoped, more Indian tourists would be lured to the state which received nearly 20,000 Indian tourists last year.
The state government will soon send a delegation to Mumbai to scout for a suitable Bollywood studio which would then be replicated in Melaka.
China is another big market for Melaka’s tourism sector and Zainul is “very bullish” about the Chinese market.
“We have an official stationed in Nanjing to promote tourism to our state,” he disclosed.