Penang state govt urges tourism industry players to innovate to survive Covid-19 impact

Many researchers have envisaged that the travel industry might take a minimum of two years before its business performance could return to the pre-Covid-19 days. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Many researchers have envisaged that the travel industry might take a minimum of two years before its business performance could return to the pre-Covid-19 days. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 16 — The state government encourages the tourism and creative economy players in Penang to constantly research and explore new territories, attempt fresh methods and improve practices to survive in the face of adversity.

Penang state executive councillor for Tourism and Creative Economy, Yeoh Soon Hin said although it would not be an easy task, attempts to transform in this hard time were really needed to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Hoteliers are now facing the toughest time in the industry as opposed to harvesting one of the biggest revenue growth-spurts that were initially projected with the ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ and ‘Experience Penang: The Diversity of Asia 2020’ campaigns.

“In order for Penang to remain sustainable without international tourism, we have no choice but to leverage on innovation, creativity and digitalisation,” he said in a statement today.

He cited the many hotels in Penang which have resorted to a paradigm shift by offering ‘drive-thru’ services for hotel-standard meals that are priced economically to cater to the mass public in view of the low occupancy rates and restriction of travel activities in place.

He applauded Penang’s hoteliers for incorporating this concept, conventionally seen at fast food chains discovering an innovative stream of income to mitigate the financial burden.

Yeoh also predicted that it would be a long road towards recovery as many researchers have envisaged that the travel industry might take a minimum of two years before its business performance could return to the pre-Covid-19 days.

“In the future, there is a need to develop big data insights, go beyond segments to provide personalised services, optimise hotel facilities to generate ancillary revenues and maximise guests’ spending.

“Penang will also focus on responsible domestic tourism when the pandemic is better controlled in Malaysia as the lifting of international borders remains uncertain.

“Domestic tourism will continue to be a key driver of recovery in the coming years and to help sustain the hospitality industry,” he said. — Bernama

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