Perak to bank on citizens rather than ad companies to boost tourism

Perak's state tourism, culture and arts committee chairman Tan Kar Hing recently said that instead of paying advertising companies to promote the state, he aims to make its citizens its ambassadors. This is because shares on social media are more effective than billboards, Tan was quoted to be saying on the Malay Mail Online.

He added that the "lack of identity" within the state poses a challenge to tourism promotion and while Perak's main draw is its food, it probability of getting return visitors solely from food might be tough. As such, he said Perak needs to come up with "better products" and is also involving assemblymen and Perak citizens to suggest places of interest in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, also proposing the need to reinvent itself and have new products is Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew, who recently said that Sabah will continue to draw more tourists if there are constantly new products and tour packages, which also include other potential destinations within the state.

According to the New Straits Times, Liew said that while "things are great", they can "be better" and tourism promotions can also cover areas such as Tawau and Sandakan to ensure tourism receipts are "evenly distributed" within the state.

Statistics by the Sabah Tourism Board showed that the state recorded a total of 1,256,448 visitors from January to April 2018, compared to 1,196,938 during the same period last year.

(Read also: Sabah’s tourism authorities mindful of ‘aggressive’ promotions in the region)