A Festival to Generate Economic Opportunities During Low-Season Period to Support Perhentian Tourism Operators
Perhentian Kecil : The onset of monsoon season is typically accompanied by the closure of island resorts and beaches as a result of severe weather and large waves. However, with the inaugural Surf Perhentian 2021 event held recently on Long Beach in Perhentian Kecil, Pulau Perhentian, things at the island took a few notches up.
Surfers gathered at Long Beach for Surf Perhentian, a surf camp and festival held from 26 November to 28 November 2021, in order to make the most of the swells and wave breaks. Approximately 100 camp participants, pro surfers, volunteers, and festival staff members were in attendance during the course of the three-day festival.
Organised by the Persatuan Pengusaha Pelancongan Pulau Perhentian (5P), and hosted by Harrera Perhentian, the event was held in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by Majlis Keselamatan Negara, including the mandatory completion of Covid-19 vaccination for all participants.
The festival was also supported by the Terengganu State Tourism, Culture and Digital Technology Committee and Malaysia Surfing Association (PLOM).
Surf Perhentian, the island’s first ever surf festival, intends to promote the island as a new surf destination in Malaysia that attracts both amateur and professional surfers to the island during the off-season period (October to March).
Because there are few to no tourists on the island during the monsoon season, businesses on the island are compelled to close their doors until the weather improves. It is intended that via events such as Surf Perhentian, Perhentian tourist operators would be able to produce economic prospects even during the low-season period.
In support of the economic revival of Perhentian islands that have been adversely affected by the pandemic, the Chairman of Terengganu State Tourism, Culture and Digital Technology Committee, YB Ariffin bin Deraman said, “Surf Perhentian will be a catalyst to many changes for tourism activities in the Perhentian islands. I wish to congratulate the 5P association and Harrera Perhentian for the successful collaboration, and hope to see more activities that will promote the wonderful beaches that the island has to offer,”.
The three-day event was a celebration of sand, sea and sound. The days were also packed with activities like surf classes, surfing, beach volleyball, and beach soccer, while the evenings were filled with Perhentian’s distinctive fire display performed by local fire artists.
Rafizah Munir, Chiarman of the 5P Association added that, “The association welcomes initiatives that would help create positive economic impact to the islands, at the same time promoting the local arts and culture that is part of the Terengganu heritage”.
The festival will tentatively return on 4 to 6 March 2022. With talks of international borders reopening again in 2022, the organisers hope to attract a larger crowd of domestic and international surfers to the upcoming second festival.