PREFERENCE:State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang said tourists yearned for more of such stays than in five-star luxury hotels
THE Johor government will support all initiatives undertaken by the local authority, non-governmental organisations and individuals to promote the tourism industry in all the districts of the state.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang said tourists yearned for something new, exciting and challenging.
He added that the usual stays in five-star luxury hotels, dining in first-class restaurants, or visiting historical sites would actually drive tourists away.
"They prefer homestays or farmstays where they can hear the chirpings of birds and pluck fruits from the trees. They want something different," he said recently.
Hoo said he was informed that some locals had introduced freshwater lobster (udang galah) fishing in the Muar river.
He said the new attraction should be encouraged, and urged the Johor Tourism Department and its Muar branch to look into matter.
Panchor village community chief Tong Tien Seng said many tourists came to Panchor near Muar on weekends and public holidays to fish for freshwater lobsters in the Muar river.
"It is place to discover many wonders and it's affordable as well.
"Just rent a sampan, dig for some earthworms, wear a broad-rimmed straw hat, avoid grasping tree branches and wait under shady mangrove plants," he said.
Tong said tourists must reel in the fishing lines slowly if there were bites, lest the lobsters slip from the hooks.
"You can fish for lobsters at any time. If there is no catch in a location, row the sampan elsewhere."
He said the lobsters must be grasped firmly to prevent the pincers from hurting the fingers, adding that lobsters can be kept alive in wicker baskets lowered into the river.
"Broad-rimmed hats are advised to prevent the long and finer-thin green snakes that are camouflaged among the leaves from dropping into anglers' collars.
"Although the snakes are non-poisonous, they can be frightening to a lot of people," said Tong.
He said it was normal to hook up two or more lobsters in an outing and enjoy steamed or barbecued fresh lobsters at the site, or in a restaurant.
Currently, freshwater lobsters are sold at wet markets for between RM26 and RM35 per kg, depending on the size, freshness, supply and demand of these crustaceans.