GEORGE TOWN, Nov 1 — The Penang state government is working with a private company to develop a RM10 million coastal resort and spa in Batu Ferringhi, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.
He said this was to develop another tourism product for the state.
In his speech for the state’s 2020 budget, he said the project was public-private partnership initiative.
“This international standard project will offer between 80 and 100 rooms, spa service and beach tourism facilities,” he said.
He said the state government was optimistic that the project will spur the state’s tourism sector while contributing towards the local economy.
Chow said Penang has received recognition as one of the best travel destinations in the world, one of the top five destinations to retire, one of the 21 top beach destinations by International Living, one of the 19 cheapest travel destinations by Insider, the most loved state for tourism by Going Places Reader’s Choice Award 2018 and George Town was also named one of the most beautiful cities in Asia by CNN Travel.
“So, Penang will continue to attract more tourists to our state through the campaign ‘Experience Penang Year 2020’ with the tagline Celebrate Asia’s Diversity,” he said.
Penang is also known as an ecotourism destination and its main ecotourism site, Penang Hill, recorded 1.9 million visitors this year compared to 1.74 million last year.
Chow announced an allocation of RM15.4 million for various projects at Penang Hill.
He said the state thanked the federal government for its RM100 million allocation to build a new cable car system for Penang Hill.
He stressed that the project is still subject to feasibility studies and approvals by the relevant authorities.
“To ensure the safety of visitors, we had already spent RM10.9 million this year to stabilise the slopes in the middle station, mosque, temple, Bel Retiro and the Upper Tunnel area,” he said.
In addition to that, the slope stabilisation works along Viaduct West Road, Lower Tunnel Road, Edgecliff bungalow, Upper Station and along the funicular tracks will be completed by the end of 2020.
“The redevelopment of Category II heritage bungalows on the hill to be turned into Hillside Retreat will be given attention,” he said.
He said the state is applying for the Unesco Biosphere Reserve status for Penang Hill to protect the biodiversity of the hill.
“We have already written to the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry to forward it for approval by the Cabinet before it is sent to Unesco,” he said.
Chow then announced a total allocation of RM35.8 million for the tourism sector for 2020.