Facilities on Pulau Kapas to be improved with increase in tourist arrivals

Last update: 07/08/2020

KUALA TERENGGANU, Aug 7 -- Several improvements will be made to avoid damage to the scenic beauty of Pulau Kapas with the recent influx in tourist arrivals.

State Tourism, Culture and Information Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said among others, more rubbish bins would be placed, as well as signage boards put up to remind the public on the need  to help maintain cleanliness on the island.

 “The state government is aware that the number of visitors, particularly those who took the day trip packages, has increased significantly to over 100 per cent since July. This is beyond our expectation and has exceeded the carrying capacity of the island, raising the concern of many quarters on issues such as garbage dumping, coral reefs destruction and damage to the island’s natural beauty,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Of late, many quarters, especially nature lovers, are calling the Terengganu government to take necessary measures to address the problems of garbage dumping on the island as it caused damage to the coral reefs.

Netizens  also expressed their concern on the influx of tourist arrivals on Pulau Kapas. They are worried that it could spoil the beauty of the island.

In thanking the netizens for their ideas and constructive criticism, Ariffin said the state government had no plan to restrict the arrival of tourists on the island.

Instead, efforts would be made to improve and provide more infrastructure facilities on Pulau Kapas, he added.

He said the Marang district office and the Marang district council were  conducting a detailed study to ensure the influx of tourists does not harm the island.

“Several measures have also been taken, including by the Marine Parks Department , which is monitoring to ensure that boats bringing passengers on day trip packages to the island do not operate earlier than 8 am,” he added.

Pulau Kapas is popular among tourists because of its close distance from the mainland, which is about 15 minutes boat ride, compared to other resort islands, which take between 30 to 45 minutes.

Although it is closer to the mainland, the beauty of its coral reefs is just like at other resort islands in Terengganu with its marine creatures such as the colourful ‘Nemo’ clownfish and turtles.

Another reason is the island offers affordable tour packages, especially the day trip package which is suitable for family picnics or with friends.

Based on records, about 42,000 tourists visited the island every month since the Recovery Movement Control Order.

Meanwhile, Marang district officer Tun Ahmad Faisal Tun Abdul Razak said more mega gotong-royong activities and cleanliness campaigns will be conducted on the island.

“We  hold gotong-royong activities frequently in Pulau Kapas, and it will be intensified with the participation of the local community and tourists to instil the sense of responsibility in maintaining the island’s cleanliness,” he said, adding that a new public toilet was also being built on the island.