MALACCA: The Malacca International Airport in Batu Berendam is greeting its maiden arrival of a Boeing 737-500 flight carrying 120 passengers recently.
It is the first Riau Air flight of this capacity. The airline has been been operating daily flights between Pekan Baru in Indonesia and Malacca using the Fokker 50, carrying 50 passengers, since early this year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state government would work at getting more special flights from Macau and China to Malacca.
He said the state was expected to receive as many as 10 million tourists compared with 8.9 million last year.
Up to October this year, he said Malacca had seen 7.8 million tourist arrivals and another 2.2 million were expected in the final two months of 2010.
“The number of tourists has risen considerably since Malacca was declared a World Heritage Site in July 2008,” he said in his speech at the ‘Session with Eminent Personalities’ organised by the Institute of Management and Integrity (Inspim) Malacca recently. Also present was guest-of-honour Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
The international airport was opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in February following upgrading works involving its terminal facilities and runway. Covering 7,000sqm, the airport’s new terminal has facilities to handle domestic and international flights and can handle 1.5 million passengers annually.
Dr Ng told a news conference later that Malacca received an allocation of RM157.2mil for a two-year period under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), which was 46% of the total allocation of RM340mil under the tourism implementation programme.
“This allocation is in recognition of Malacca’s importance as a prime tourist destination,” she said.
At the same function, Dr Ng also announced five main projects under 10MP, which included upgrading of facilities at the Ayer Keroh Botanical Park costing RM30mil, developing the Tasik Chin Chin area in Jasin (RM25mil) and building infrastructure for the cable car in Bandar Hilir (RM49mil).
The two others are the monorail phase two project along Sungai Malacca (RM13.2mil) and the development of the Hang Tuah village along the Duyung River (RM40mil).
Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said Malacca planned to hold a Baba-Nyonya International Festival for the first time next year to attract more tourists to the state.
He said the Casa del Rio boutique hotel in Bandar Hilir, expected to be ready by April 2011, would be the main venue for the festival showcasing the culture, traditions, fashion and food of the Baba-Nyonya community.
Organised with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, the festival will also invite the participation of Penang, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand which also have such a community. — Bernama
Webmaster: Macau China are important markets for Melaka. Macau received about 20 million visitors and Melaka Macau have strong links with Portugal. It will be beneficial to Melaka if more chartered flights from Macau can fly direct into Melaka International Airport.