Penang tourism industry down 40pc due to coronavirus, says Chow

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press during the opening ceremony of Dialight Penang Plant in Juru February 10, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press during the opening ceremony of Dialight Penang Plant in Juru February 10, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

SEBERANG PERAI, Feb 10 — The tourism industry in Penang has recorded a drop of between 30 to 40 per cent due to the travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the travel and hospitality industries in the state will be affected due to a drop in tourist arrivals these two months.

“Restaurants, hotels and tourism-related industry is impacted and this will worsen if the travel restrictions are not lifted,” he said in a press conference after attending the opening ceremony of Dialight Penang Sdn Bhd’s new plant here.

He said in the short term, the state’s Experience Penang 2020 programme will be affected as there were cancellations by tour groups from China.

“There was an increase in cancellation of tour groups from China to many places all around the world including Malaysia and Penang,” he said.

He added that the fear of travel among most people further compounded the issue.

Chow said 14 per cent of Malaysia’s trade industry is with China, and a substantial number of companies could also be impacted.

“That is why the economic sector is looking for the early announcement of an economic stimulus package so that those impacted can have access to capital financing to help them face this challenge,” he said.

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