THE state Tourism and Creative Economy (Petace) office has collaborated with the Travel Safe Alliance Malaysia (TSAM) to further boost Penang’s travel market confidence.
The TSAM, which was launched in October this year, comprises four major players in Malaysia’s tourism, business events and the airline industry.
They are the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (Maceos), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) and airlines under the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) consisting of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MASwings.
In view of the partnership, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said Penang has always been a trendsetter in Malaysia’s tourism landscape and has led the industry in various ways.
“The notable one would be the ‘Covid-19 Safety Accreditation Programme’, which was introduced in July 2020, just few months later after the emergence of the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia in March.
“This accreditation is issued to tourism establishments that meet and adhere to strict hygiene and safety standards set by the local authorities such as state Health Department, Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP), Petace, and Penang Global Tourism (PGT).
“The Penang-led initiative was the first in Malaysia, proving to all that Penang is a state that upholds commendable health and safety protocols as well as reinstate faith among travellers to visit Penang.
“I am glad to see that our accreditation programme is taken to the national scale through the TSAM which shares a similar framework as the Penang’s edition,” said Yeoh during a ceremony held to launch the partnership between Petace and TSAM yesterday at the G-Hotel.
The accreditation programme under the TSAM encompasses ‘Travel Safe’ by Matta targeting tour and travel agencies, ‘Safe & Clean Malaysia’ by MAH aiming at hotels and ‘SafeBE’ by Maceos for exhibition & convention centres.
Yeoh said the TSAM’s accreditation programme is a separate version from Penang’s edition which is aimed at complementing and strengthening one another.
“These two accreditations give visitors and end-to-end safe travel solutions, which will indeed allow us to position Penang as a responsible tourism destination.
“With more emphasis given to hygiene, health and a safe environment, vendors in the industries such as the tourism, hotel, business events have enhanced their health and hygiene protocols for the safety of all travellers.
“I also would like to urge industry stakeholders in Penang to join the certification programme to increase travellers’ confidence,” he added.
Meanwhile, MAH president Datuk N. Subramaniam lauded Penang for putting safety as its top priority for its tourism practices.
“The endorsement by the Penang government is a significant step forward to further boost travellers’ confidence for the impending tourism recovery,” he added.
Also present were PGT chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan, Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang, Maceos president Francis Teo and MAS group chief executive officer Izhan Ismail.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar