The Melaka government should work out a new mechanism to encourage tourists to spend more than one day in the state in order to boost the state's tourism revenue, said Melaka Smart City Advisory Council chairman Khoo Poay Tiong.
He said this was important because, most tourists, both domestic and foreign, preferred to make day trips to Melaka.
"We need to review and upgrade our existing tourism products and come up with more attractive packages to ensure visitors to Melaka stay for more than one day."
"This is a challenge for the state government, to find ways to increase the rate of people staying overnight," he told Bernama when contacted.
He said based on Tourism Malaysia statistics, 4.5 million people comprising domestic and international tourists stayed at hotels in Melaka in 2015, while the figures for 2016 and 2017 were 4.6 million and 4.7 million respectively.
"Based on studies conducted by the state government, about 17 million tourists visited Melaka last year but only some 4.8 million stayed at hotels; the figure (of tourists staying overnight) should have been higher," said Khoo, who is also Kota Melaka Member of Parliament.
On April 13 Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari was reported to have said that the number of tourists in Melaka last year increased by 1.34% to 17.02 million from 16.79 million in 2017.
He also said the Melaka Smart City Advisory Council would be pooling the resources of all tourism agencies in the state to encourage tourists to stay more than one day.
"Among the proposed measures is the upgrading of tourism applications to make them more user-friendly and attractive to boost the dissemination of information on tourism, especially existing and new tourism products," he said.