AS the nation is in the process of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged the world last year, the tourism sector is poised to pick up its momentum.
Although interstate travel is still prohibited, the Penang tourism industry, which had in the past been an economic driver for the state, is looking towards a strong recovery.
This could be seen with the government’s initiative in introducing the ‘green travel bubble’ scheme to boost domestic tourism.
Buletin Mutiara approached some of the Penang’s tourism stakeholders for their views on ways to revive and promote the state’s tourism industry.
Below are their respective comments:
Raj Kumar (Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) – Penang Chapter chairman)
“First of all, despite the changed landscape due to the unforeseen pandemic, the hotel industry is still able to move on.
“So far, local travel is still not allowed but thanks to Penangites, hotels in the state could still continue with its business.
“This is where the locals support the hotels’ businesses by staying for a few days.
“As you see, the occupancy rate for weekend is much better compared to weekdays as more Penangites are ‘holidaying’ at the hotels in the state.
“I hope the government will allow us (hoteliers) to be included in the second phase of vaccination. We are also considered as frontliners as we meet with ordinary people every day.
Allen Tan (The Habitat Penang Hill managing director)
“We need to focus on sustainable and quality tourism rather than mass tourism.
“We need to position Penang as a quality tourism destination in order to attract visitors to appreciate the state’s history, culture and nature.
“In short term, we must start to explore the possibility of resuming the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme in order to attract long-term visitors.
“To be frank, Penang has so many places of interest to attract tourists domestically and internationally.
“I am confident that we will rise again soon!”
Khor Ming Yang (Airborne Sdn Bhd managing director)
“I feel a holistic approach should be taken to ensure all stakeholders will benefit when the tourism sector improves.
“And we also need to identify the kind of tourism that Penang is targeting. With this initiative, Penang can rise to another level when everything resumes to normal.
“On top of that, the heritage enclave needs to be cleaned up to attract tourists. When the place is clean and tidy, it will naturally draw local and foreign visitors.”
Rowena Amin (AirAsia’s ex-finance manager)
“To rebuild the tourism sector, especially the hotels’ industry, the travel agencies need to play a pivotal role.
“Various promotions need to be thought out and launched to attract tourists. When there are attractive packages, people will be tempted to sign up for them.
“That’s why, I feel travel agencies need to have a better cooperation with tourism agencies to promote domestic tourism.”
Story by Edmund Lee