Over the years, tourism has grown into a significant contributor to NCER’s economy. Key initiatives carried out in the region led to an increase in investments, as well as the number of visitors, hotel rooms and local tourist receipts.

Key Investments

RM474 Mil

RM 36.5 Mil

RM250 Mil

RM116.5 Mil

RM 500 Mil

RM62 Mil

Impact of NCER Key Initiatives for Tourism

Tourism Initiatives in Langkawi

Community-Based Tourism

Train-the-Trainers Programme for Spa Therapists

More than 100 participants hired with an average income of RM2,200

Zoo Taiping & Night Safari and Taiping Heritage Trail

Promoting Kamunting/Taiping as one of the top tourist destinations in NCER

No. of rooms grew by 212% (2010–2017)

47% increase in business licences (2010–2016)

One of 2018 Sustainable Destinations by Green Destination

Belum–Temengor Tropical Rainforest

Hentian Royal Belum Amanjaya Base Camps and Community-Based Tourism (CBT)

28,672 visitors in 2019 (208% increase compared to 2010)

Medical Tourism in Pulau Pinang

Increase in foreign patients through Flight Incentive Arrival Programme & Capacity Enhancement of Medical Players

375,900 health tourists in Pulau Pinang

RM567.2 million health tourist revenue (2018)

Other NCER Initiatives Carried Out For Tourism

Shared Value Concept (SVC) at BTTR

The project aims to equip the indigenous communities around the Royal Belum State Park with the necessary skills to produce and market local handicrafts, as well as to encourage the growth of local entrepreneurs and small businesses. As a result, an Asliworks kiosk has been set-up at Hentian Royal Belum Amanjaya to showcase and promote the handicrafts made by the Orang Asli natives to tour operators and tourists visiting Royal Belum.

Strategic Partnership between NCIA and Tuniu

Tuniu is one of the leading online travel sites in China and is listed on the NASDAQ, USA. This partnership aims to bring awareness and stimulate interest among Chinese tourists on NCER through various tour packages offered.

Community-Based Tourism (CBT)

CBT aims to foster entrepreneurship in local communities and encourage them to seek and develop careers in tourism. The programme educates and empowers rural communities in managing tourism resources, thus creating opportunities for better income and improved living standards. Under this initiative, NCIA has implemented Lenggong CBT, Destination Management Development Programme (DM), as well as Professional Taxi Driver Programme in Merbok (Kedah) and Pangkor Cultural Mapping in Pulau Pangkor (Perak).

Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Ecotourism & Homestay Programme

This programme entails a collaboration among the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), UPEN Perlis and homestay operators in Perlis, particularly those located between Perlis and Satun, Thailand.

The region’s tourism sector is constantly evolving to remain compelling and relevant for visitors, which presents attractive opportunities for investors to co-create new tourism products that offer unique and memorable experiences.


Tourism projects in NCER are carried out via the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, with the aim of increasing the number of tourists and tourist spending through enhanced tourism products.


These will be the sector’s key focus areas:



The region is home to beautiful islands and lakes, as well as the Belum Temenggor Forest Reserve, one of the oldest rainforests in the world.


These abundant natural endowments offer vast potential for ecotourism that will benefit the rakyat through the creation of new job and business opportunities.


Besides Belum-Temenggor, ecotourism is being sustainably developed in other identified areas such as Kuala Gula in Perak, the Pedu-Ulu Muda Forest Reserve in Kedah, and the Nibong Tebal Mangrove Forest in Pulau Pinang.


Heritage Tourism

This tourism sub sector will leverage on the cultural and historical heritage of selected locations, allowing visitors a glimpse of past and present stories of the places and its people.


These locations include George Town in Pulau Pinang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Ipoh in Perak, a former colonial city; and the royal towns of Kuala Kangsar (Perak), Alor Setar (Kedah) and Arau (Perlis).



Archaeotourism focuses on promoting archaeological sites as tourism attractions while ensuring their conservation and preservation for the benefit of future generations.


In NCER, these sites include the Lenggong Valley in Perak, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia; Lembah Bujang in Kedah, and Guar Kepah in Pulau Pinang. 



NCER’s rich natural endowments also include spectacular geoparks such as the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, Jerai National Geopark, Kinta Valley National Geopark and Perlis Geopark. 


Geotourism initiatives in the region will focus on connecting the world-class geoparks and geosite products within the four states. This strategy will capitalise on Pulau Pinang and Langkawi as the main gateways to attract visitors to other tourist destinations within the region.


Niche Tourism

NCER is also focusing on niche tourism fields such as medical tourism, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), agrotourism and halal tourism to cater to specific needs and demands of visitors.


Malaysia is recognised as a top medical tourism destination by International Medical Travel Journal and NCER has earmarked Pulau Pinang as the leading medical hub of the country. 


enquiry form