Year-end floods could be an opportunity for volunteer tourism, Nazri Aziz says
SHAH ALAM - The floods that hit the country every year have the potential to be a tourism attraction, a former Minister says.
Former Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said the country should seek opportunities during hard times instead of crying over things that were clearly beyond our control.
He said the floods were an opportunity to promote volunteer tourism and early planning could have been done in order for that to be a reality.
“If you know it is coming, then start planning now.
“Maybe we can have voluntary tourism where people come to the country to help us with the floods, and it is not about them coming here just to enjoy but for them to also learn,” he told Sinar Daily.
He added that this could be a great start for experiential tourism, where the visitors would experience things in real life.
Saying that an opportunity for tourism could come even during a crisis, he said even the drop in the country's currency could be an opportunity for tourism because the cost international tourists spend in Malaysia to travel was cheap compared to their currency.
He mentioned that it was the chance to attract visitors from other countries, especially most Singaporeans who spend only one-third of their salary when visiting Malaysia.
“When our currency falls, it’s time for us to promote tourism for the country because it is cheap for them.
“The Singaporeans will come because they spent only one-third of their salary and to them, our 5 or 6 stars hotels are just so cheap when they come to our country to travel,” he added.
He commented this after being asked about his current view on floods having potential for tourism attraction following Sinar Harian’s report that 2021 floods may recur at the end of this year.
"In Kuala Krai for example, the flood is like a festival. Every monsoon, we have a flood festival, and people will come.
"Because now there is volunteerism, where foreigners come to do volunteer work and they pay (to buy tickets and so on),” he said.