Malaysia’s travel agencies wait out the rains

DUE to heavy flooding in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, several travel companies have temporarily stopped selling flood-affected destinations such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Taman Negara National Park and are diverting existing groups to alternative areas.

Luxury Tours Malaysia senior manager, Arokia Das, said: “We sent out travel advisories to our travel consultants to update them on the situation and which parts are affected by floods.

“Generally, we are not selling Taman Negara, the east coast and the islands off the east coast. We hope the floods in the east coast will clear up by mid-January. Instead we are promoting Langkawi, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.”

Saini Vermeulen, head of international sales, Panorama Tours Malaysia, said the company would be diverting a group of 20 pax from Holland from Taman Negara National Park to Belum Rainforest. He said: “For us, the customer’s safety and comfort come first. We will monitor the situation in the east coast, and only start selling it when the situation improves.”

He added that the company will still accommodate FIT requests to these affected states where possible. “However, during this period, if there are requests for beach holidays, we will promote Penang and Langkawi, and for theme parks, Johor Bahru.”

Liza Alip, managing director of Johor-based East Coast Adventure Travel and Tours, said her tours are running as usual in Johor Bahru but the company avoids selling tours to flood-stricken areas such as Kluang and Mersing in Johor.

Parts of Malaysia are regularly hit by strong winds and rains during the annual monsoon season, but the downpours that began end-December have been described as being the worst in 30 years.

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