KUANTAN, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- The year 2016 is a busy year for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Pahang which will have 58 programs to be implemented.
State Exco for Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said all the programs were drawn up to 'heat up' the atmosphere before organising the Visit Pahang Year 2017.
"The pre-launch of the Visit Pahang Year will be held in March. We are targeting to have 15 million tourists visiting the state in 2017, an increase from the target of 12 million this year," he told reporters after flagging off participants for the Sungai Lembing Mad Warrior run, here today.
Mohd Sharkar said that in the year 2015, a total of 10.53 million tourists chose to spend their vacation in Pahang which yielded RM8 billion.
He said the Sungai Lembing Mad Warrior run was a new event held as a curtain raiser to the tourism calendar this year, which would be followed up by 46 other sports programs.
Among the interesting events this year are the Tioman Surfestival 2016 in Pulau Tioman on Jan 29, Cherating Night Surfing (Jan 28), Lipis Traditional Food Festival (Feb 13) and Balok Wind Surfing (Feb 19).
The calendar for March begins with the program Bird Count (March 4), Niteride Endoru Challenge (March 12), Bubble Camp which gives scuba-diving exposure in Pulau Tioman to students aged nine to 15 years (March 14) and Meow Island Challenge 2016 (March 26).
For April, the programs include the Ganchong Lobster Fishing Fest in Pekan (April 3), Pahang Traditional Archery Festival (April 20), Cherating Family Carnival 'Night of Lanterns' (April 28) and the Jeram Besu White Water Rafting Fest in April.
The month of May will be the busiest with 12 programs being held such as the Cameron Highlands 60km Challenge (May 1) Sail Malaysia-Passage to the East Yacht Rally (May 4), 2nd Malaysia Cavers Gathering 2016 (May 13), Fraser's Hill International Bird Race (May 14), Tioman MTB Ride 2016 (May 21), Slide The City (May 21), Kuantan Half Marathon 2016 (May 22) and 'Moh Ngemping Padi' (May 23).
Meanwhile, the 'Bazar Ramadhan' program which showcases Pahang traditional dishes will be held on June 6, Cherating Eco&Environment Green Run 2016 (July 16), Pahang Hockey Fest (July 29), Kuantan Arts&Cultural (Aug 6), Fellowship Ride to the centre of Peninsular Malaysia (Aug 7) and King of Sungai Lembing (Aug 28).
The other events include Merapoh Forest Run 2016 (Sept 3), Taman Negara Bird Race (Sept 3), Bera International Wetland Fest (Sept 17), Karnival Lipis (Sept 22), Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge (Sept 23) and Spear Food Fest (Sept 24).
The tourism calendar for October begins wity 'My Enduro Challenge' (Oct 1), Kuantan Golf Amateur Marathon 2016 (Oct 7), Cameron Ultra Marathon 2016 (Oct 8), Festive El-Dorado of the East (Oct 15) and Mempaga MTB Jamboree 2016 (Oct 23).
Also to be held this year are the Teluk Chempedak Downhill Challenge (Nov 5), Cherating International Surfing (Dec 3), Beserah Tengkujuh Ride (Dec 17) and Cherating Point Cup 2016 (Dec 29).