It's World Tourism Day on Sep 27 and Penang will again be in the limelight for its appeal to travellers!
Penang was recently voted the fourth best city to travel to this year by Lonely Planet. Plaudits and world recognition are nothing new to the city-state having long been a tourist favourite. Its food is also legendary and again Lonely Planet made it the top foodie spot for 2014, while Virtual Tourist members ranked it No 3 in the world for street food in 2012 and CNN Travel said it is one of the top street food spots in the world. Not enough? CNNGo rated Penang asam laksa as the seventh best dish in the world!
In terms of travel, there will be even more international attention on Penang in October. This is because it will host World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2016 from Oct 17 to 19, 2016. Penang will be the fourth destination in Malaysia to do so after Malacca (2013), Kota Kinabalu (2010) and Kuala Lumpur (2007).
One of the few sites listed as a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site since 2008, it’s quite apt that George Town has been chosen as the venue for WTC. The conference is organised by the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Ministry in collaboration with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Penang has a myriad of natural, architectural and cultural sites that keep drawing in visitors year after year. But there are a slew of new attractions to add to the mix. They include:
• The Skyway on Penang Hill, a newly-built observation deck that enhances the hilltop forest experience.
• The Habitat in Penang Hill, which provides a wide range of attractions to explore like the Nature Trail, Canopy Walk, Tree Top Walk, Red Garden, Butterfly Bank, Yellow Garden, Purple Garden, Ginger Grove and Fragrant Garden.
• Entopia (formerly known as the Penang Butterfly Farm), which will become the world’s first butterfly, dragonfly and firefly sanctuary park when it is fully completed in 2018. Its Phase One, which consists of the butterfly and dragonfly sanctuary as well as an indoor invertebrates discovery centre, has been open to public since May 2016.
It’s also easy to move around in Penang as there is the Hop On Hop Off bus, equipped with WiFi on board and with disabled facilities. They have routes that cover 50 major attractions. Or one can opt to use the Rapid Penang CAT, which is a free shuttle bus service that plies the streets of George Town.
Registration fee is not required for those who are interested to participate in the conference. For further information and registration, please visit the www.wtc2016malaysia.com.