• What is domestic tourism and who are they in reference to Perak?
• What are the main trends among the domestic tourists?
• What are the main attractions in Perak?
Tourism is one of the main sectors that contribute growth to the State of Perak, providing employment, attracting investments and creating demands. Tourism economic industry has the potential to not only be one of the key development sector, but and also a way to alleviate poverty and ensure inclusive growth.
Tourists to Perak are made up of both local and foreigners. While domestic tourists are defined as those living in Malaysia for at least a year including citizen, who take trips to destinations outside their usual environment, for less than a year, this is for the purpose of business, leisure or personal matters.
The tradition of “Balik Kampung” continues to be a major factor contributing to the trips made by domestic tourists. This is clearly demonstrated in Figure 1, where the majority of domestic visitors travel for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives. Statistics show, the percentage recorded for “Balik Kampung” (also known as “Visiting friends and relatives”) was at 43% in 2011 and 44% in 2013. And shopping sprees by domestic tourists to local shopping destinations was the second contributor, where the numbers were 31% in 2011 and 30% in 2013.
Domestic tourist numbers were analyzed, and Figure 2 shows the trends amongst domestic travels from the various States in Malaysia. Kedah had the highest number of domestic tourists, 5.13 million in 2011 while Johor was second highest with a total of 4.32 million, followed by Perak at 4.07 million people.
In 2012, Perak had the highest number of domestic tourists at 5.67 million followed by Johor at 4.92 million and Selangor 4.56 million people.
In 2013, Perak again recorded the highest number of domestic tourists, 6.01 million, the second highest was Johor, 5.96 million followed by Selangor at the third, 5.56 million of tourists.
Perak’s domestic tourists in 2011 came mostly from Selangor (1.4 million), local travels by Perakian within the state were second at 0.8 million. Tourists from Kuala Lumpur were at the third (0.68 million). The largest number of tourists travelling to Perak in 2013 were from Selangor (1.98 million), followed by domestic tourists from Kuala Lumpur (1.15 million). While local travels by Perakian came third at 1.15 million with difference of 800 tourists from Kuala Lumpur.
The above map shows the destinations in Perak that are popular in the year 2011 to 2013. However, in 2013, Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), Gopeng, which was launched in February 2012 has been listed a more popular tourist attraction that replaced Taiping’s Zoo. The access provided by the North-South Expressway (PLUS) to RTC Gopeng, making it easy for tourists to stop and buy essential goods on offer, thus its popularity.
As Perak leads in the influx of domestic tourists since 2012, the strategies by Perak policymakers applied prior have proven to be successful and should be maintained and improvised if possible to attract more domestic tourists for the future.
The expenditure patterns of domestic tourists in Perak can be further explored and be harvested for economic growth of this sector. Further programs to attract domestic tourists to Perak should be encouraged (e.g. day events at Telok Batik and Taman Tasik Taiping) and relevant service supports be in place for this expansion.