Tourist Pass have been around Europe for decades, offering generally free entries in museums, free use of public transport as well as discounts in shops or main attractions. However, Southeast Asia has so far been timid -to say the least- to propose visitors a similar offer.
Early October, the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Amin Nordin Bin Abd Aziz, officially launched the KL PASS™, an integrated tourist pass that offers tourists seamless access to tourism attractions and supporting amenities on top of other privileges and benefits.
The KL PASS™ is listed in the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Master Plan 2015-2025, which envisioned such a product. According to the Mayor, “the KL PASS is an important medium to increase the awareness of what Kuala Lumpur has to offer, contribute to the overall tourist experience and encourage tourists to increase their length of stay in the city. I am proud to announce that the KL PASS™ will be the first-of its-kind to be introduced in Malaysia, designed by the local provider with international standard features at par with similar passes available in different cities such as City Passes available in Paris, London or New York”.
The KL PASS™ is a unique card integrating tourism attractions, retails outlets, F&B and soon the public transportation. It has an IT management backend system that will run the pass efficiently and systematic, in accordance to the standard outlined in the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Master Plan.
KL PASS™ is produced, managed and marketed by Meridian Tourist Access Sdn. Bhd. with the endorsement by Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Tourism Malaysia. Tourists purchasing the KL PASS™ receive a KL PASS™ card together with a free 140-page KL PASS™ Guidebook. The KL PASS™ Guidebook comes in two variants; the Asian Edition, which is in English, Chinese and Arabic, and the European Edition which comes in English, French and German. Packed with information on where to use the KL PASS™ as well as a host of other useful information and tips for when visiting Kuala Lumpur, the Guidebook is a handy tool for any visitor to the city.
With the KL PASS™, tourists are entitled to gain entry without further payment at participating tourist attractions. All they have to do is present their pass at the entrance for verification and once the card’s validity is confirmed, they will be granted entry. The KL PASS™ can also be used to gain discounts and other special privileges when shopping, dining and entertaining in Kuala Lumpur. It is available in three versions with a one-day, three-day and six-day validity. It is priced between RM165 (US$38) and RM675 (US$156). A kid pass is also available.
Tourist attractions currently on board of KL PASS™ include the KL Tower, Aquaria KLCC, The KL Butterfly Park, Berjaya Times Square Indoor Theme Park, Batek Workshop at Kompleks Kraf, the Craft Museum, Discoveria@Avenue K, Escape Room @ Berjaya Times Square, Laser Battle @ Berjaya Times Square, MUD The Musical, The KL City Gallery, The KL Hop-On-Hop-Off, the KL Tram, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, the Telekom Museum, The Foundry Workshop @ Royal Selangor and Zouk KL.
Managing Director of Meridian Tourist Access Sdn. Bhd., Farouk Nurish, said that the KL PASS™ is currently in its first development stage. Phase 2 will include more establishments and public transportation as well as to introduce a pass that specifically caters to domestic tourists as well as special interest passes that may include the KL Dining Pass and the KL Wellness Pass.
“The smart-chip based system that is employed has the capacity to even store digital money, so in the future we hope to introduce the KL PASS™ Purse where tourists can conveniently and safely explore the city without the need to carry a lot of cash with them and yet be able to shop and dine using their KL PASS™,” said Farouk Nurish.
A very conservative figure of 20,000 cards are expected to sell within the first year of operations. The KL PASS™ is available for purchase online as well as a number of sales outlets in the city and at KLIA. Foreign tourists may purchase the pass in their home countries and choose to either have the pass sent to them or collect their passes in KL when they arrive. Among the places the pass is currently available is at the KL City Gallery, the KL Concierge Kiosk and at the KL Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket counter.