BENTONG: Pahang's popular tourist spot, Janda Baik, is expected to suffer losses amounting to about RM12 million as some of its locations are unable to operate for four months following the recent devastating floods that hit these areas. State Tourism, Environment, Culture, Plantations and Commodities Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said among the areas most badly affected by the floods last Dec 18 was Pulau Santap, a major recreation spot in Janda Baik. He said 33 of the 54 resorts and chalets in Janda Baik were destroyed with the costs to be incurred estimated at between RM157,500 and RM6 million for each affected resort or chalet. "We will ask the federal government to assist in their recovery process through a special allocation with priority given to repairing the damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges and public areas.
"We are also asking for consideration be given to the tourism operators here who wish to obtain a flexible loan facility to repair or rebuild their resorts or chalets soonest possible and which will cost a lot." Sharkar said this at a news conference here today after viewing the destruction around Pulau Santap caused by the recent floods. Also present was Tourism Pahang general manager Kamaruddin Ibrahim. According to him, Tourism Pahang would also be listing the locations in Janda Baik that were forced to temporarily close as well as the resorts and chalets which could still receive tourists, for their reference. "We hope that Janda Baik can operate again as soon as possible as tourism is a source of income for many of the local residents. About 300 workers are affected by the temporary closure of the resorts and chalets here. "Also affected are the other economic activities that depend on tourism such as the food business, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rental and horse riding because before the floods, Janda Baik had been seeing a lot of visitors each weekend," he said.
Asked if the floods could affect the Visit Pahang Year relaunching plan this year, after being shelved for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sharkar said they would be focusing on other areas that were not affected by the floods such as Cameron Highlands, Fraser's Hill, Cherating in Kuantan and Pulau Tioman, Rompin. For the other flood-hit tourism locations like Taman Negara in Jerantut, Sungai Lembing in Kuantan and Lanchang in Temerloh as the "centre of Peninsular Malaysia", he said the recovery works were scheduled for completion soon. – Bernama