Bursa Malaysia listed MERIDIAN Bhd (Meridian), the developer of Malaysia Tourism City (MTC) in Kuala Linggi, Melaka, which was officially launched by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi in May 2019, today announced, besides housing the first Hasbro water theme park, the company intends to turn the tourism city into a tourist shopping haven by hosting the Luasempit weekendmarket@MTC. It’s our very own “version of Chatuchak”, which is a very popular shopping destination in Thailand attracting 200,000 visitors a day.
Luasempit weekendmarket@MTC will be an internet of things ready and the biggest weekend market in the world, occupying 100 acres with 40 acres of lake in the premise.
Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Seth Yap says the aspiration of MTC is to increase the arrival of tourists and prolong the overnight stay.
“In 2018, the average tourist arrival in Malaysia was 28 million, and 15 million for Melaka of which an average of 1.5 Million stays overnight in Melaka. With MTC, we target to increase another 2 million tourist arrivals and another additional 1.5 Million overnight stay tourists in Melaka thereby creating a multiplier effect on tourist receipt up to an additional RM5bil per annum,” said Yap while sharing some statistics.
“With the weekend market, we will be offering 3,000 stores of about 100sqft per outlet. Pricing for each outlet starts from RM2,500 a month. For that amount, you get a physical store with a footfall of 2 million tourists a year and also access to our omni-channel of up to 20 online shopping platforms in the region, namely, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines, not mentioning with the backend fulfilment provided,” he says.
Yap adds, “The take-up has been encouraging and as of today, we have up to 40% who have registered their interest. But we are not looking to get 3,000 tenants as some will take more than one outlet.”
Yap plans to set up a weekend market and not something that’s available on a daily basis, is to enable the merchants working at MTC to spend their weekdays building their businesses elsewhere.
“It’s part of our strategy to build Malaysian entrepreneurs. By having a market that operates only on the weekends, merchants and traders that choose to set up shop at Luasempit don’t have to quit their jobs if they have another source of income the during weekdays. Once their business revenue from our market and omni-channel is stable, they can then confidently focus their resources on building the business.”
Luasempit is no ordinary weekend market. The 100 acres weekend market is called Luasempit because it has a broad (luas) alley and a narrow (sempit) alley. The “luas” alley will consist of 1500 outlets focusing on food and beverage. The “sempit” alley will consist of another 1500 outlets focusing on “Buatan Malaysia” arts and crafts.