MARANG, July 24 — The government’s move in encouraging domestic tourism during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is a blessing for tourism industry players in Terengganu, especially in the resort island area.
This is evident by the surge in tourist arrivals in the state after the “lockdown” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the RMCO providing a lifeline for the industry players to continue with their business.
A survey by Bernama to Pulau Kapas recently found many visitors on the island.
Owner of Ombak Kapas Island Beach Resort, Hawa Abd Rahman said the occupancy rate at her resort is encouraging, with the rooms fully booked for weekends until Aug 31.
“We only have four months left to operate before the island is closed to tourists, from November until February, because of the monsoon season.
“When the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced on March 18, I was worried, thinking how my business was going to survive, but now I am quite relieved because the increase in tourists arriving on the island can at least cover the losses incurred during the MCO period,” she said and hoped the federal and state government would continue to promote domestic tourism for the survival of local tourism industry players.
What is special about Pulau Kapas is its location, which is only 10 to 15 minutes boat ride from the mainland, compared to other resort island in Terengganu.
.Apart from that, the holiday packages offered by resort operators on the island are cheaper, although the island’s beauty and view is as comparable as the more popular island resorts, in terms of clear sea water, beauty of the coral reefs and diversity of marine life.
Trader Shah Fakhrul Lutffi (rpt Lutffi), 25, who operates a stall selling fruit juice, said the increase in tourist arrivals to the island since RMCO had enabled him to cover the losses incurred during the MCO period.
“Alhamdulillah, weekends are especially busy days for me. The increase in tourist arrivals, among others, is due to resort, chalet and boat operators introducing day trip to the island,” he added.
A tourist on the island, Fareiz Adzmi, 28, from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, said he chose to come to Pulau Kapas to spend quality time with his family because of the day trip package, which he found relaxing and cheap.
“This is my first trip to Pulau Kapas and I am happy with my choice. The place is nice and convenient for recreational activities, like snorkeling, hill climbing at Bukit Singa, as well as for family picnic,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Azman Karim, 38, said he came to Terengganu because he wanted to take advantage of the last few weeks to spend time with his family before his children had to go back to school again.
“I also took them to visit several places of interests in Kuala Terengganu and Setiu,” he added.