The holiday cycling packages introduced by the Tourism Ministry have received an overwhelming response from foreign visitors. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said interest in the cycling tourism programme had increased as foreigners preferred visiting tourism spots on bicycles. She added that cycling had become a popular trend, which was a good way to promote healthy activities and protect the environment. “Currently, we are offering 33 types of cycling packages throughout the country, including here in Raub as well as in George Town, Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu,” she said after launching the 1Malaysia cycling holiday campaign here yesterday.
Dr Ng said the cycling tour packages offered good returns to bicycle shop operators, local handicraft makers and eateries. “Local youths can also gain an income by acting as tour guides for the cycling tourists, while homestay programme operators will also reap benefits because tourists who take these cycling packages usually love staying with the villagers and experiencing the local cultures,” she added.
Dr Ng also said she would discuss with financial institutions to provide soft loans to local cycling holiday entrepreneurs so they could buy quality bicycles in bulk. About 1,000 cyclists took part in yesterday’s event. They included Dr Ng, Raub district officer Datuk Ismail Ali, Tourism Ministry’s Pahang office director Idros Yahya, schoolchildren, and members of several cycling clubs. Cycling enthusiasts also took part in a 25km cycling event held in the traditional villages and oil palm plantations in Felda Kuala Krau.