Tioman travellers in the years before 2017 had to buy or collect their ferry tickets from the rather makeshift sales counters located next to the old ferry terminal waiting room, itself adjacent to the bank of the Mersing River.
The ferry process used to be a somewhat hectic affair, due to the cramped space, which, after all, hadn't seen any sort of upgrade in years. This in stark contrast with the ever burgeoning tourism numbers visiting Tioman year after year.
Mersing Harbour Centre coming up
In addition, tourists keen to experience Mersing's exciting hinterland didn't really have any recourse either. For instance, revelers interested to go for a jungle expedition in Endau Rompin National Park had no physical one-stop Help Desk location a la Mersing Harbour Centre to go to either.
Instead, tourists had no choice but to get their information and their reservations from one of several travel agents in the area, typically rendering the recreational fun and hotel room bookings more costly, given the extra middlemen markup.
The situation was not ideal.
Fast forward to late 2017, the time of the official opening of Mersing Harbour Centre, in particular the year post-opening and it's evident that things are quite different. For starters, as of now, early 2020, it's clear to see that Mersing and Tioman travellers these days have it way, way better.
In fact, Tioman and indeed, the town of Mersing as well, are also believed to have started benefiting in earnest from the all-new Mersing Harbour Centre, since both know-how and bookings can now be had at this one single portal location, direct, both offline and online. It's quite the win-win scenario.
Mersing Harbour Centre
The Mersing Harbour Centre mall was originally the brainchild of the forward-looking local government, who foresaw that what was lacking in the Mersing area was an all-purpose tourism centre, enabling local tourism representatives to provide not just information but actual bookings too for the countless tourism attractions, landmarks and activities that make the area of Mersing the popular tourism hotspot that it's been for years.
But actually, Mersing Harbour Centre offers more than tourism-related information and bookings. The premises also offers a retail site and a popular food and beverage location.
Niftily, it further features a number of convenience stores that provide useful travel items, such as sun-block, mosquito spray, snorkel gear, as well as snacks and some summer and beach-themed. apparel. Souvenirs and traditional delicacies are available as well.
Naturally, the complex has ample parking, both on and off-site, as well as a comprehensive washroom-with-shower-cubicles section, a playground to keep the kids happy and even a convention hall for local businesses. For those who wish to pray, there is a prayer room too.
Bird's eye view of Mersing Harbour Centre
But frankly, in all likelihood, given Mersing's long Tioman history, what Mersing Harbour Centre will in time be known for most of all is its Tioman ferry ticket services
and, sure, perhaps secondarily as the place to be for booking a Tioman hotel or resort, or inbound/outbound transport, or recreational activity.
Either way, the fact that ferry, accommodation, scuba diving, angling, snorkeling, island-hopping, jungle-trekking and bus/taxi bookings can be had at Mersing Harbour Centre will undoubtedly be a big benefit to everyone concerned.
So hats off to those that made Mersing Harbour Centre