The dos and don’ts for VM2020

PETALING JAYA: It’s Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020), so here’s a dummy guide to exploring the country.

Observe cleanliness, respect flora and fauna and do not over-bargain during your shopping jaunt.

“When visiting the rural areas, obey the local culture and traditions. Also, don’t bargain so much until the prices become so cheap. How can they (rural sellers) make money if you over-bargain?” said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang.

He said that both domestic and foreign tourists should be mindful of their behaviour.

Observe the simple “no litter rule”, he said.

“Tourists should also reduce the use of plastic, ” he said yesterday.

Although places such as Penang and Langkawi remain top destinations with their food and island charm, Tan said lesser-known spots, such as Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor, were rising in popularity.

Tourists were looking to experience rural tourism and experiential travel with each market having its own preferred activities and destinations, he said.

Tan said Chinese tourists were into shopping and photo stops while Europeans preferred nature and frequented ecotourism spots in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

Tourism Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi had also said that places such as Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor, the majestic Mount Kinabalu and the Danum Valley forest in Sabah would be promoted this year.

Tan said the Danum Valley forest had been a consistent high-yield demand product and “very stable in receiving high demand from Europe”.

And Mount Kinabalu had always been in high demand for climbers, he added.

“Sky Mirror is also getting very popular for the domestic and also China market, ” he said.

Sky Mirror is a sand bank in the middle of the sea only revealed on particular days, typically during low tide.

The exposed sand bank creates an unusual backdrop that reflects the sky, which is good for photo opportunities.

At night, visitors can take a boat ride to the sea to watch “blue tears”, a natural night phenomenon caused by bioluminescent organisms, which glow in a blue hue.

Sky Mirror Tour & Travel Sdn Bhd managing director Dyven Wong said tourists must observe cleanliness and avoid disturbing the habitat when taking the Sky Mirror and “blue tears” tour.

“Tourists are not allowed to take back any ocean marine life such as clams.

“You can see, you can take pictures, but you can’t bring back anything from there, whether dead or alive, ” he said.

Wong said the number of tourists going for the Sky Mirror and “blue tears” tours was on the rise.

“Every month, we have at least 3,000 to 5,000 people going for the tour with our

company. And the number is increasing, ” he said.

Source: The Star