Operators Worried About Increase in Entrance Fees for Foreign Tourists to Pulau Perhentian

Operators Worried About Increase in Entrance Fees for Foreign Tourists to Pulau Perhentian

BESUT: About 50 boat operators and travel agencies at Kuala Besut Tourist Jetty here have expressed concern over alleged increases in service and access charges to Pulau Perhentian for foreign tourists.

The Secretary of the Kuala Besut Tourist Boat Operators Association, Mohd Asrul Che Rahma, said the charges under the supervision of the Besut District Council are expected to increase from RM5 to RM20 per tourist.

According to him, this development became known after a picture of the receipt for the charges went viral on the mobile application WhatsApp since Sunday.

“Currently, the charge for each foreign tourist, which has been in place for three years, is RM5, and we were never informed of any increase until the receipt picture went viral yesterday.

“If the increase is true, we are worried that the number of foreign tourists will decrease because they will feel burdened by the various fees.

“In addition to the entrance fee to the island, they are also charged a Marine Park conservation fee of RM30, a round-trip fare of RM70, and a tourism tax of RM10 per night upon arrival on the island,” he said when met by reporters here on Monday.

According to him, there are currently 80 tourist boats operated by around 20 operators at the jetty.

Mohd Asrul said the increase in service charges for foreign tourists is feared to lead to an increase in illegal boat services.

“We are concerned that this situation will encourage tourists to use illegal boat services, affecting licensed operators.

“Additionally, we also worry that tourists will turn to neighboring countries’ islands, like those in Thailand, which do not impose various charges and fees,” he said.

Meanwhile, travel agency operator Saiful Azri Ayob said the increase in charges risks affecting tourist arrivals to the island, thereby impacting the local community’s economic sources.

“The number of foreign tourist arrivals to Pulau Perhentian has previously dropped by about 60 to 70 percent since 2020.

“If this situation occurs, we worry that the number of foreign tourists will further decline, and we need to consider how to attract more tourists here,” he said.

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