Covid-19: Penang govt wants tourism players to prepare for next normal

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during the Penang Island Municipal Council councillors’ swearing-in ceremony in George Town January 10, 2020. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during the Penang Island Municipal Council councillors’ swearing-in ceremony in George Town January 10, 2020. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, April 25 — The Penang government has reminded tourism players to adapt to the next normal in coping with the Covid-19 crisis as businesses will no longer operate as before. 

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government is keen to assist but the industry players must also re-adapt to the new normal and forget about attracting crowds of people in the next three to six months, if not longer.

“Not only Malaysia is in a semi-lockdown, most governments are also banning their citizens from travelling abroad for fear of them catching the virus and causing another infection chain when they return to their home country.

“Some of the tourism players may have to change their operation process in order to adapt to the new business environment. But whatever it is, let me assure you that the state government will be with you as we face this crisis together,” he said during a virtual tourism roundtable discussion here today.

He said the state government is also looking into waiving hotel fees for the coming six months in order to support the industry through these trying times.

Meanwhile, State Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin has urged all tourism players and stakeholders in Penang to come together to overcome this difficult period.

He said it would require tourism players to work together with the state government, in order to deliver an adequate and desirable environment to revive tourism once more now that the global tourism travel has come to a standstill amid the outbreak.

“Now, we have to look at tourism differently — with sustainability and sanitisation being paramount above all to deliver the same quality experience that the visitors have come to expect while meeting the requirements of social distancing, sustainability and hygienic practice,” he said.

The tourism sector hires more than 150,000 workers in Penang and is worth RM9 billion when value-added, operating in more than 35,700 business establishments. — Bernama

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