Durians, ours is the best in the world, says tourism official
Malaysian durians are the best and the king of fruits is free of artificial colouring, said tourism ministry deputy secretary-general Junaida Lee Abdullah today at the launch of a durian festival in Teluk Bahang. Nothing articial about King of Fruits says Junaida at Penang durian festival.
She said the ministry, together with the agriculture ministry and Fama, the federal agricultural marketing authority, constantly monitored the situation to ensure durian supply was from a known source or from selected orchards.
“The ministry is confident that durians offered to the public and tourists are of the best variety and do not contain anything that would taint the good reputation of our durians,” she added.
She was speaking to reporters after launching the Penang Homestay Durian Festival at the Penang National Park today.
Junaida said the festival, involving durian orchard owners and 10 homestay operators in Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau, would be held until June 21. It was aimed at selling 2,000 four-day tour and homestay packages.
More than 18 varieties of durian were being featured at the festival, including Udang Merah, Hor Lor, Musang King, Gan Ja, Kun Poh, Duri Hitam and Landak.
“Last year, we succeeded in selling 1,700 packages through special flights from Hong Kong worth RM2.8 million, and durians sold through walk-ins amounted to RM313,000,” she noted.
Recently there were reports of durians with artificial colouring, supposedly in a neighbouring country, which were widely shared online.
Junaida was optimistic the tourism sector would not be affected by the fall in value of the Malaysian Ringgit as tourists would have higher purchasing power, which would be a factor for them to visit the country and stay longer.
She urged tour guides and the tour industry to advise tourists on the customs and taboos of the local people for the sake of harmony.
“We always welcome tourists, but at the same time, hope they learn and respect local customs; homestay visits such as this will hopefully provide opportunities for tourists to understand our customs,” she said.