Malaysia Tourism City (MTC) in Kuala Linggi, Melaka, is well on its way to becoming the next big tourist destination with grand plans of becoming a shopping haven, boasting the first Hasbro water theme park, as well as Malaysia’s version of the popular Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Luasempit weekend market @ MTC, developed by Bursa Malaysia listed Meridian Bhd (Meridian) is set to become the biggest weekend market in the world, occupying 100 acres with 40 acres of lake in the premises.
CEO Datuk Seth Yap says the aspiration of MTC is to increase the arrival of tourists who will also prolong their overnight stays. “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,” said Yap.
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
To make MTC a success, Yap says there is a need to “create an economy” within the development itself and Luasempit is the answer to the tourism city’s sustainability.
The weekend market, together with the first Hasbro theme park and a branded adventure park will form the first phase of MTC’s 622.13 acres development which is based on four pillars: mass tourism, medical tourism, edu-tourism and eco-tourism. It will be developed over three phases, with the first phase planned for completion within the next three years.
Yap says, “With the weekend market, we will be offering 3,000 stores of about 100sq ft 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.”
He 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.
“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.”
Yap says that the success of Luasempit depends on three factors: bringing in the crowd, the people behind the operation and lastly the product, Luasempit itself.
Meridian is working closely with several organisations and partners on this project, including low-cost carrier AirAsia, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), Traveloka, retail concept and leasing consultant DTR Group, POS provider Storehub, Store & Send, a brand under KRM fulfillment sdn bhd, and GFuture Sdn Bhd.
Meridian has appointed former Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia Ministry secretary general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah and EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee as directors. They have also engaged Dr Poompichai Tarndamron, who sits on the advisory board of Chatuchak, as an advisor.