IPOH: Whether to Tapah, Manjung or Tanjung Malim, people are eager to travel to Perak.
Budget hotels are seeing a high take up of rooms for the long weekend, which started yesterday.
Malaysia Budget Hotel Association Perak chairman Zamari Muhyi said there had been many bookings for rooms in Manjung, Gopeng, Taiping and Lenggong, compared to Ipoh.
“In Manjung, up to 80% of the rooms have been booked.
“In Tapah and Tanjung Malim, the room bookings are between 50 and 70%,” he said when contacted.
He said the bookings were not as high in Ipoh hotels and he believed this could be that people just wanted to get away and relax in the outskirts.
“This is a good start for our industry, and hopefully it will continue to improve,” he added.
Zamari said association members had been reminded to always observe the standard operating procedures (SOP).
“We are the gatekeepers and I have reminded my members to ensure the SOP are adhered to for everyone’s safety, including our staff and customers,” he added.
A check at several tourist spots here also showed heavy traffic with quite a number of cars bearing outstation number plates.
Visitors could be seen taking pictures at several landmarks in Ipoh old town, including the Birch Memorial Clock Tower and at Panglima Lane, or fondly known as Concubine Lane.
Pomelo and souvenir shop owner Lee Foo Yin, 46, said he was swamped by customers yesterday.
“It is starting to get busy,” he said.
Meanwhile, folk in Cameron Highlands, Pahang are expecting heavy traffic and huge crowds during the long weekend.
Those who spoke to The Star said visitors have started driving up to the highlands since Wednesday.
A vegetable seller, who wished to be known as Anne, said: “During the movement control order, there were only five to eight customers a day.”
“When the interstate travel ban was lifted, we got about 50 customers a day. I hope the numbers will continue to increase during the weekend. I expect more than 200 people to come to my stall in Kea Farm.”
She said she had three workers and one of them would be checking the customers’ MySejahtera app.
With interstate travel allowed since Monday, many Malaysians are expected to travel around the country during the long weekend in conjunction with Maulidur Rasul (Prophet Mohamad’s birthday) on Oct 19.
Drink seller Hafizah Abdul Malek, 29, hoped that tourists would be careful when driving up to Cameron Highlands.
“Since Jalan Simpang Pulai – Blue Valley has been closed to heavy vehicles, big lorries will use Jalan Tapah – Cameron Highlands instead.
“I was informed that the traffic is a bit slow there,” she said.
She said that during the day, tourists would mostly flock to Brinchang and Kea Farm while at night, there would be slow traffic at Tanah Rata.
“The night markets will also draw a huge crowd so I hope those who plan to go there to be careful and to follow the SOP,” she said.
Civil servant Khairul Adha Anuar, who lives in Brinchang, said he would spend the weekend staying at home.
“I hope that those who come will maintain their physical distance and adhere to the SOP,” said Khairul Adha, 29.
He found that some restaurants would not check their customers’ vaccination status.
“My cousins came here from Ipoh on Monday and we went to a steamboat restaurant for dinner. To my surprise, the staff didn’t even bother to check our MySejahtera.
“I hope the eateries at the highlands will be more alert since there will be a high number of tourists coming in,” he added.
Perak police chief Comm Mior Faridalathrash Wahid advised those travelling to the state to be fully vaccinated or risk getting slapped with a compound notice.
Police would beef up its enforcement activities during the long weekend, he said.
“Our SOP monitoring team will be having regular checks at places that are expected to be packed with people.
“These include the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, railway stations, rest and restoration areas, picnicking areas and tourist spots,” he said.