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Sunday May 22, 2011

Campaign to showcase Penang’s many attractions

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Global Tourism, a state tourism bureau, has embarked on its first tourism campaign specifically targeted at foreign tourists.

Managing director Ooi Geok Ling said the seven-month ‘My Penang, My Experience’ campaign would begin in Singapore on Thursday.

“The campaign will show Penang in its many facades seen through the eyes of locals and visitors.

“We use different colours and textures in the campaign’s visuals to show off Penang’s culture, heritage, religion and community,” she said while unveiling the campaign at the Whiteaways Arcade on Beach Street.

Ooi said from Thursday till the end of the year, a bus plying Orchard Road — Singapore’s popular shopping hub — and another covering the financial district of Shenton Way would bear ‘My Penang, My Experience’ advertisements.

“We are also covering mega pillars and 34 mega poster spaces at the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station for eight weeks starting Thursday.

“A double-decker bus has also been roped in to feature the George Town Festival (an annual celebration in July to commemorate the city’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site),” she added.

Among the images that will be displayed during the campaign are that of a shopkeeper using the traditional abacus (with the tagline ‘My Penang, My laptop’), two Nyonya women sitting at Weld Quay’s Clan Jetties (‘My Penang, My mom and her sister’), the famous blue-coloured Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (‘My Penang, my colour blue’) and legendary shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo (‘My Penang, my hometown’) who will be attending the George Town Festival opening ceremony on July 1.

Ooi said the cost of the whole campaign was only RM600,000 as the creative direction was done free of charge by Richard Hsu, a Shanghai-born branding guru, who fell in love with Penang after his visit here in February.

“The campaign is very people-centric and is focused on portraying personal experiences,” she said.

“Singapore has been targeted as it is the country with the most direct flights to and from Penang.

“Last year, 96,400 people flew in from the island republic, which makes it the second highest country in terms of flight arrivals to Penang,” she said, adding that Indonesia claimed the top spot with 192,404 arrivals.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who officiated the campaign’s opening ceremony, said Indonesia and Thailand were next on list of targeted tourism campaigns.

He said: “The ‘Penang experience’ is not solely reserved for the people who stay here.

“This campaign shows that while Penang is individual to the person, it also belongs to all.”

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