THE state government would do its part to help tourism products developed under the Penang Tourism Master Plan (PTMP) bring about benefits to the locals, says state Tourism Development, Arts, Culture, Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin.
“We (state) always bear in mind the interest of the locals when it comes to the tourism products,’’ said Yeoh during the Penang Tourism Master Plan Town Hall session yesterday.
“Penang indeed is the first state that has initiated a tourism master plan of its own which is aimed at enhancing the growth of the tourism sector for the period 2020 to 2030,’’ he added.
The town hall session was moderated by the YZD Planning and Consult (YZD) principal Prof Dr Badaruddin Mohamed, who also shared some insights on the plan.
According to Badaruddin, the PTMP comprises four main thrusts which are diversification of tourism products (thrust A), positioning Penang as the premier destination(thrust B), ensuring sustainable tourism(thrust C) and promoting a smart tourism destination (thrust D).
“There some tourism products that we can diversify to make them more attractive, for instance the trishaw. Perhaps, it can be run on engine. We can also groom the riders as well as give them uniforms,’’ he said during his presentation session.
Various inputs were received from the stakeholders who took part in the town hall session, such as encouraging local artisans (Penang) in souvenir making, retaining the authenticity of the tourism products, and having the caring capacity in the initiatives of developing the tourism sector.
Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin, who was also present, shared her ‘Kampung Terus’ project that proposes a Boat Villa Jetty and Service Station, emulating the enchanting ‘BoatHouses’ in Kerala, India.
The project is among the initiatives under thrust A -diversification of tourism product.
“When I visited Kerala, the location where boathouses were located reminded me of the Kampung Terus landscape where it had a padi field and a river.
“I was very impressed with the boathouses over there (Kerala) which was made from bamboo. It looked traditional from the outside but inside, there were like hotel rooms which looked very conducive.
“So, I decided to work with the team in Kerala to create such a concept in Penang. Moreover, the locals at Kerala also benefit from its tourism (boathouse),’’ said Norlela.
When concluding the session, Yeoh said all stakeholders were given two weeks to give their suggestions on the masterplan.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Alissala Thian