GEORGE TOWN, Nov 9 — The Penang government proposed a RM34 million allocation to spur the tourism industry in the state under its Budget 2019.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (PH - Padang Kota) said the funds will be used to improve and upgrade cultural and tourism products in the state to draw more tourists.
“In the past three years, the state has recorded an increase in tourist arrivals where the Penang International Airport saw passenger arrivals of 7.2 million and is expected to reach 7.8 million passengers this year,” he said.
This increase in passenger arrivals far exceeded the airport’s capacity of 6.5 million passengers.
He said Penang is also attracting young travellers with its focus on developing e-sports in the state.
“Penang eSports Festival will be held for the first time in 2019 and is soon to be another attraction in the state,” he said.
He said this year, George Town celebrated its 10th anniversary of inscription as a Unesco World Heritage Site, so the state will continue with activities to promote the site.
Chow said the annual George Town Festival will continue to be held in 2019 with an allocation of RM3 million.
“The Sia Boey rejuvenation project will be turned into an Archaeological City Green Park and the first phase of the project is completed, while phase two of the project started in September,” he said.
Phase one of the project involved cleaning up Prangin Canal, while phase two involved the restoration of the Prangin Market Complex.
Chow said phase three of the project will involve the restoration of 22 heritage houses on the site.