Friday, 14 December 2018

Local touch to attract more tourists

Amirudin, (back row, centre) Abdul Rasid, (next to him in grey jacket), Selangor Community Host graduates including Rubendran (sitting centre with glasses) and representatives from the Sabak Bernam District Council, Klang Municipal Council and Kuala Selangor District Council 
at the graduation ceremony.

LOCALS will know every nook and cranny of their hometown as well as the hidden gems that tourists often miss.

Rubendran Arumugam, 20, who wanted to popularise his hometown of Port Klang, enrolled in the Selangor Community Host Programme 2018.

He was among 21 people who graduated from the programme. Not only was he the youngest participant, Rubendran’s passion saw him topping the class and being awarded best graduate.

“There are so many things to discover in Klang and Port Klang but I always wondered why not many people promoted these attractions,” he said.
Rubendran, who found out about the programme through his uncle, said his father had often hosted visitors to Klang.

Together with two others from the programme, who are also from Klang, the team is discussing ways to better promote their district.

Rubendran, who is pursuing a diploma in mechatronics engineering, said he would continue studying while promoting Klang and Port Klang.

The six-month course began in March to educate and train community hosts to be guides so they will be able to promote heritage, culture and interesting places within their districts.

The first programme focused on three districts – Sabak Bernam, Klang and Kuala Selangor and included on-site teaching.

Participants learned about tourists’ consumption psychology, development trends in tourism, as well as local culture and heritage development, among others.

The graduation ceremony took place at Grand Bluewave Hotel Shah Alam, and was attended by Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari and Selangor Culture and Tourism, Malay Tradition and Heritage committee chairman Datuk Abdul Rasid Asari. The programme by Tourism Selangor was in partnership with Empire Putra College and supported by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry,
Abdul Rasid said with the programme, there were now tour guides, comprising local residents, who were especially needed in rural areas.“It gives visitors an opportunity to discover a district through a local guide. Nowadays, tourists are looking for unique cultural and historical value.”

Amirudin said people viewed Selangor as a place where they work and have little knowledge of its many attractions. He said the state had many tourism assets that could be better promoted.

Amirudin reminded graduates that learning does not stop after graduation.“You should explore what is available in your locale and find new attractions,” he said. Next year’s programme will focus on Hulu Langat, Hulu Selangor and Kuala Langat.
-thestar online.

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