SINTOK, May 22 (Bernama) -- Public universities in Malaysia are encouraged to use the natural heritage in campuses to create educational and ecotourism products that are able to attract local and foreign tourists.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the universities would also able to generate revenue through optimising their natural assets.
"Maybe it is more towards educational tourism, where informal education is provided for visitors," he said after launching Discover UUM 2016 here, today.
He said although UUM is located in a remote area in the north, it had made wise use of surrounding natural resources to attract visitors.
"Although it is located quite far away, UUM has tourism products such as a deer farm and a pet farm with ostriches, geese, and ducks," he said.
UUM, which houses over 20,000 students, also has a 1,061-acre jungle named Hutan Sintok, which is thousands of years old.
It has over 3,000 sandalwood trees and centuries-old trees known as the 'Three Siblings', which would delight nature lovers.
Meanwhile, UUM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said over one million visitors are expected to attend Discover UUM 2016, which offers over 15 tour packages.
UUM has recorded 300,000 visitors since January and expects to generate revenue of up to RM5 million, said Mohamed.
The packages include Sintok package, Cengal package, Students package, recreation and tourism packages.
Visitors will be taken around UUM to see attractions such as the ostrich and deer parks, golf course, go-kart circuit, in addition to jungle trekking activities.
At the event, UUM also launched UUMWiFi, which offers free Wi-Fi for local communities in four locations around Changlun and Sintok.