GEORGE TOWN, Sept 15 — Penang will continue to promote the tourism industry, especially involving nature, as there are several interesting places which can attract both local and foreign visitors.
State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said Penang has various tourist destinations, such as Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), Botanical Gardens, and the Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang, as well as coastal marine areas.
“Sustainable nature-based tourism can attract many foreign tourists, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, as new products are needed to attract different tourism segments,” he told Bernama.
He said that his team welcomes the government’s efforts to provide RM346 million in funds under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), especially to attract the youth to creative activities which offer higher income.
Wong said the funds can help train youths to be involved in the creative industry, as well as the tourism and hotel segments, especially involving hotel employees who moved to other industries after their jobs were affected during the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, Tony Goh, chairman of the Penang chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), said that hotels in the state, especially those in the city centre and Batu Ferringhi, have received encouraging bookings from domestic and foreign visitors, as a result of continuous promotions from various parties.
He said promotions in the tourism industry, which had been badly affected due to the enforcement of the MCO, have helped the hotel sector in the state to get back on its feet and start making profits again.
“Based on the information we have received, many hotels in the state are seeing profits again, after suffering losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, while the shortage of hotel workers has eased,” he said.
“There are more direct international flights coming into Penang, thus making it easier for tourists to come to the state. We are also monitoring the services provided by hotels and no complaints received thus far.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when tabling the 12MP Mid-Term Review, said that the government hopes that the tourism industry, which was adversely affected during the MCO, will return to strength.
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said that the provision of the RM346 million in funds was to attract the involvement of youths in creative activities which offer high incomes. — Bernama