More needs to be done to boost tourism
6 August, 2008
MORE than two years ago, I wrote to your newspaper on the problems at the LCCT where there were not enough chairs, not enough restaurants and the food prices were not cheap and did not reflect the idea of the LCCT. Two years on, there is no change. Actually, it's getting worse.
Getting on and off the bus to and from the LCCT requires a great effort if you are an elderly person or a female as the driver or attendant does not help you load and unload your luggage.
Recently, I witnessed a few people who were almost sandwiched between two buses while taking out their luggage. There is also no proper signage of where to board these buses.
At the holding room, there is only one small restaurant/cafe/kiosk (call it whatever you want). Although AirAsia is well-known for its low prices, it is similarly known for delays. Therefore, a bigger restaurant or food court should be there to cater for the hungry and tired passengers affected by these delays.
At the international arrival hall, I noticed that there were 12 or 14 immigration counters and these were segregated as follows: Counter 1 for flight crew, Counters 2 to 9 for foreign passport holders, Counter 10 for Malaysian passport holders, Counters 11 to 12 or 14 are autogates for Malaysian passport holders.
Why are there so many counters for foreigners? Are Malaysians not welcomed back into their own country or are they being punished for leaving the country?
Last year, our Tourism Minister promised and predicted that more Arabs would visit our country this year but when the results showed otherwise, many excuses cropped up to justify our A & P. I do not have the arrival statistics but a check with the inbound tour operators, the hoteliers and restaurateurs would be telling.
How many millions of ringgit of the taxpayers' money were spent to promote Malaysia to the Middle East market, only to find out now that their holiday season is too near the month of Ramadan? If this is the case, didn't we know that last year?
With all the problems we are facing in the country now, I foresee that not only foreigners will not be coming but more Malaysians will be going out to release their stress and tension.
The Star quoted the Deputy Prime Minister as saying that Islamic tourism is the way to go. I beg to differ. All categories of tourism is the way to go but before we go, we have to make sure that we are ready to go.
To the people in power, I suggest you take a closer look at tourism and understand what it is all about.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.