Malaysia’s recently launched 2017 Visit Pahang, Visit Perak and Visit Beautiful Terengganu tourism campaigns will play a key role in the South East Asian country’s bid to attract 31.8 million visitors this year, a 4.3% increase over 2016.
While currently less well known to Australian tourists than longtime favourites like Penang, Sabah and Langkawi, according to Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, the three states of Pahang, Perak and Terengganu are all appealing destinations in their own right, and each boast their own unique attractions.
More particularly, for the savvy traveller looking ahead of the curve, they offer up unparalleled opportunities to experience an authentic Malaysia still relatively untouched by mainstream tourism, making them amongst the country’s best-kept secrets.
In a country where tourism is a major contributor to GDP there is no doubt that increased tourist arrivals will not only be of significant benefit to each of these States and local tourism operators, but will also provide a significant fillip to Malaysia’s national economy.
With Malaysia’s total tourism expenditure this year expected to total RM118 billion (US$26.3 billion), Terengganu State is especially keen to ensure its share of revenue increases exponentially.
Often overlooked in favour of the Malay Peninsula’s better-known western states, Terengganu is home to some of Malaysia’s most sublime and unspoiled beaches, not to mention the idyllic Perhentian Islands. Its ‘Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017’ campaign is expected to draw around 5.6 million visitors to the State this year, from which it hopes to generate an estimated US$1.1 billion in tourism revenue.
In anticipation, the State has lined up a diverse event program for Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017, featuring at least one hero event each month to meet its target, ranging from colourful spectacles to adrenalin charged outdoor events to intriguing and unusual cultural festivals, with highlights including:
- Peranakan Mek (princess) and Mok (prince) beauty contest in Kampung Cina (January);
- Homestay Food and Cultural Festival (February);
- Setiu Wetlands Festival (March);
- Squid jigging carnivals (April);
- International Paragliding Championship (May);
- Annual Mek Kebaya Beauty Pageant (June);
- SEA Games Equestrian Endurance Competition (July);
- World Gamelan Festival (August);
- Lingai Mountain Bike Challenge (September);
- Terengganu International Eco and Marine Tourism Conference (October);
- Sounds of Terengganu Musical Festival (November); and
- Batangan Endurance Cycling Jamboree (December).
With adventure, culture, beaches, jungle, nature and accommodation to suit every budget, with friendly locals and year round sunshine to boot, Terengganu is banking on the fact that whatever time Aussies visit, there will be something to appeal.