Tourists descend on Tasik Kenyir for Raya 

Diyana Ibrahim

The Tasik Kenyir Tourism Association says the Pulau Poh bridge is the lake's latest tourist attraction. – Facebook pic, April 23, 2023.

TOURISM operators at Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu are seeing brisk business as more people are frequenting the lake especially for the long Hari Raya festivities. 

They said that there is a trend that more people are spending Hari Raya by travelling to tourist destinations. 

This, the operators said, is due to the encouraging bookings of houseboats they had received over the last week for the Hari Raya period.

Houseboat operator Sulong Mustafa said holidaying during Raya has become a trend for some.

“Welcoming Hari Raya while traveling is now a new trend. 

“Most of the bookings received were from folk who had returned for Hari Raya and wanted to celebrate in a different setting with their families,” he told The Malaysian Insight. 

Sulong, however, said not all operators are working on the first day of Raya as their employees are on leave. 

“I will start operating on the third day of Raya even though the demand for the first day is very high.

“We have given some bookings to operators who are working on the first day of Raya.

“However, charges for the houseboats on the first and second day are slightly higher.”

The rental price of a houseboat in Tasik Kenyir that can accommodate approximately 20 people is between RM1,600 to more than RM3,000 depending on the package period and type of houseboat.

According to Sulong, in conjunction with Hari Raya, most operators took the initiative to decorate their houseboats in accordance with the theme of the celebration.

Houseboat operators say business in Tasik Kenyir has returned full swing, especially during the Hari Raya period. – Facebook pic, April 22, 2023.

Another operator, Rizal Muhammad, said tourism in Tasik Kenyir has now returned to full swing, even though tourism activities had reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic last year. 

Rizal, who will start his business operation on Monday, said houseboats are full until the Labour Day holiday on May 1.

“Previously, business was a bit slow from January to March, even though it was the school holidays, the response was more or less the same as last year.

“But Alhamdulillah, with the Raya holiday season we are fully booked for two weeks. We expect this momentum to continue,” he said.

Tasik Kenyir Tourism Association chairman, Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said customers are taking the opportunity to vacation with their families during the Hari Raya season.

“During this holiday, siblings and relatives will usually gather, but instead they choose to bond with their families on a Tasik Kenyir boathouse,” he said.

He said that overall tourism operations in Tasik Kenyir this year is the same compared to last year.

Aziz expects the positive response for tourism to keep up until August.

The lake also has a new attraction in the new Pulau Poh bridge that was opened in 2021, he said. The stork head motif bridge was built at a cost of RM107 million.

“If I was to say that the tourist response has decreased compared to last year, not really. I think the response is the same. Neither decreased, nor increased. The level remains the same.

“I think it’s because of economic factors.  Either way, we are confident that demand will return starting with this holiday season.

“We hope the celebration will be even livelier this year,” he said. – April 23, 2023.

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