PENANG is expected to achieve a tremendous growth in the tourism sector by the end of this year.
State Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin is confident that the tourism growth this year will be much higher compared to last year.
“This is mainly because most of the hotels in the state are recording good occupancy rates at mostly 80% and above.
“Another thing is, according to the data from Penang International Airport (PIA), the passenger movements until November this year recorded 7,555,275 passengers which is a 7.43% growth compared to the same period last year (2018) at 7,032,974 passengers.
“From January until Dec 8 this year also, Penang Hill recorded 1,656,442 tourist arrivals, compared to last year’s figure of 1,510,000 tourists, which is a 9% increase.
“Penang also is always crowded with many tourists during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve week.
“Thus, I have confidence that it will be a big growth compared to 2018 and we will be able to see the entire picture of Penang tourism growth for 2019 in January next year,” Yeoh said in his statement today.
According to Yeoh, various festivals related to Christmas and New Year’s Eve would be held as well and the public was encouraged to join them.
“The Top will celebrate New Year’s Eve countdown on Dec 31 and there will be a fireworks display at the highest level of Komtar.
“Apart from that, the very first Penang Grand Parade will be happening on Jan 1 from Gurney Drive to Esplanade from 6pm to 11pm.
“The Penang Grand Parade is to celebrate Penang’s vibrant diversity through the kaleidoscope of cultures and ethnicities which will be represented through this parade in a true showcase of Penang, the ‘Diversity of Asia’.
“Thus, I hope everyone will take this opportunity to catch the parade at various locations or come join us at the Esplanade for the finale,” he added.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Nur Afiqah Zainudi