Cover Story: Making an impression

This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 25, 2018 - July 01, 2018.
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Apart from Jonker Street, tourists visiting Melaka don’t have too many options, so entrepreneur Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon stepped in with a large-scale theatrical production that would serve as an entertaining and informative guide for foreigners and locals alike who chose to holiday in this small southern state. A Melaka boy himself, Boo tells Anandhi Gopinath about the Impression City project and how he hopes it will change the tourism and economic landscape of his home state.

Thanks to its Unesco listing, Melaka needs no introduction to anyone looking at a local vacation spot — it is within two hours’ drive from KL while accommodation and food choices are aplenty. Outside its historic perimeter, however, Melaka is an untapped resource. Klebang, for example, boasts the Submarine Museum, the most delicious putu piring and coconut shakes, and a white sand dune beach that features often in high-fashion shoots and wedding pictures. As a state, Melaka pulls in many repeat tourists, but for a while now, there has not been anything fresh to attract new tourists or to extend the interest of existing ones.

The Melaka-born CEO of Yong Tai Bhd, Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon, was always aware of this — outside of eating and a bit of sightseeing, there was not a lot to do in this small southern state. “I am a proud Melakan, and my state is known as a tourism site — 16.8 million tourists came here last year, but we didn’t have anything major to offer them. Las Vegas, New York and London, for example, have great shows for people to watch. Even Bangkok and South Korea have something to offer. At night, besides hosting tourists for dinner, we actually have nothing else to offer them,” he begins.

 

For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (June 25, 2018) at your nearest newsstands or visit optionstheedge.com.