SEREMBAN, May 5 – Port Dickson, which is popular with the moniker ‘Garrison City’, is one of the districts in Negeri Sembilan receiving the highest number of foreign and local tourists. Renowned for its beautiful beaches and proximity to the Klang Valley, Port Dickson is the focus of city folks who want to escape their stress after toiling in the noisy concrete jungle. With the prolific arrival of tourists to Port Dickson, the state government felt that the tourist destination should be planned more systematically and redeveloped, thus to become a new growth centre. This development needed to be done as Port Dickson would be part of the Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) new development, which is not only aimed at attracting tourists but also foreign and domestic investors to generate sustainable economic growth in the state.
The 153,000 ha MVV development in the Seremban and Port Dickson districts, according to Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, would be part of the integrated and planned development area of the Klang Valley and Greater Kuala Lumpur. “Port Dickson will be rebuilt with a detailed plan … we have no land so we will reclaim a 2,428 ha muddy area near the Jimah Power Plant in Lukut as the site for the new town of Port Dickson,” he said. “This will be a new Port Dickson area and the Federal Government has agreed to build a highway from Kuala Lumpur Airport (KLIA) directly to Port Dickson,” he said.
Mohamad said the federal government had approved the reclamation project last November and all conditions must be complied with including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report by the Department of Environment. The area to be reclaimed would be for residential, commercial and industrial purposes to further enhance tourism in the area. Meanwhile, Negeri Sembilan Tourism Board (LPNS) general manager Datuk Baharudin Jali said Port Dickson received more than five million tourists a year since four years ago. “Last year, 6.8 million foreign and local tourists came to Port Dickson while there were 6.82 million tourists in 2016, of whom 1.48 million were foreign tourists,” he said.
Baharudin said various initiatives that had been implemented by LPNS in attracting tourists included increasing promotional activities through the print, electronic and social media. “In addition, (promotion is done) through organising tourism events such as the Port Dickson International Triathlon, Port Dickson Beach Festival, Port Dickson International Bike Fest and more. “LPNS is also working with the tourism industry such as the Association of Tour and Travel Agents Malaysia, the state chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, the Negeri Sembilan Budget Hotels Association, the State Tourist Guides Association in promoting Port Dickson to tourists through the travel packages offered,” he said.
There are 55 hotels in Port Dickson registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, with four of them rated five stars, four (four star) hotels, 12 hotels (three stars), eight hotels (two stars), two hotels (one star) the rest no star. There are two homestay programmes registered under the ministry namely Homestay Pachitan and d’Pelandok Best. Baharudin said the average occupancy rate of the accommodation premises in Port Dickson at the weekend was 90 per cent and above. He said apart from the beaches, Port Dickson also offered other tourism products such as Ornamental Fish Centre, Bukit Kepong Orang Asli Village and snorkeling and diving activities at Tanjung Biru. – BERNAMA