Thai tourists posing in front of the 3D mural painting of a Peranakan home's mirror at Made In Penang (MIP) Interactive Museum. CHAN BOON KAI/THE STAR/(14th Aug 2014).
About 60 travel agents on a working trip to Penang last week were impressed with what they saw.
The trip was not only educational but also fun for the 29 Indonesians and 25 Thais who were in town for the Business Networking Session hosted by Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand Tourist Association (Mittas).
They ventured into George Town’s inner city, checking out its heritage sites as well as other attractions in the state, and saw for themselves what they had only seen in photographs.
The visitors were in Penang from Tuesday and visited sites such as the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Made In Penang Interactive Museum and shopping malls, among many others.
Food was also the highlight in their itinerary.
Tourism Malaysia guide Nooriza Ilias, who led the group, said the agents were brought in to gain first-hand knowledge of tourist sites.
“They will then be able to share their knowledge and experiences with their clients.
“Thailand and Indonesia are among the main contributors of Asian tourists into the country,” she said.
“We hope they will not only promote Penang but also develop a better network among themselves through this visit.”
The representatives from the two neighbouring countries’ travel trade sector also attended the Business Networking Session with Mittas at Cititel Penang on Wednesday.
Ahmad Indra Batu Bara, a Medan-based travel agent, was wowed by the scale of heritage preservation in George Town.
“I can see that the government has placed importance on heritage in the country. It is like keeping history intact,” he said.
For Thai travel agents Nattaporn, 23, and Apisara Pala-Apitai, 26, local food added to their enjoyment.
The latter said: “We had a taste of everything and it is great that it’s available just about anywhere in George Town.
“We also love the trishaw ride very much and best of all, the friendly people. Penang has so much to offer to visitors.”
The group members left for their respective countries on Friday.