In a list published by Travel Awaits, the Pearl of the Orient is noted for its multiculturalism, great culinary scene and connectivity to other countries in the region.
"If you’re eager to travel in retirement, having Penang as your home base makes it easy to fly to many other countries in Southeast Asia," the travel publication, which caters to senior travellers, wrote about the island state.
Penang came in at third place on the global ranking behind the Spanish islands of Malta and Mallorca.
Meanwhile, Penang is is ranked highest among other Asian destinations in the list such as Bali, Koh Samui and Phu Quoc.
Penang state tourism and creative economy executive councillor Yeoh Soon Hin said the accolade is another achievement for the island state.
“This achievement records another remarkable milestone in our tourism portfolio, attracting worldwide retirees and tourists to visit this Pearl of Orient when travel restrictions are lifted, ” he said in a statement.
Yeoh added that Penang’s multicultural and multilingual community is an added advantage to the state’s unique architecture and townscape, vibrant art scene as well as rich heritage.
“Our strategic location in between the Melaka Straits and Andaman Sea also makes us one of the travel gateways to many Southeast Asia countries, which will be a bonus to our travel industry and travellers when travelling is allowed once again” he said.
According to Yeoh, Penang has consistently made it to many best-of lists for retirees such as 11 Best Islands for Retirement Abroad by International Living in 2020 and Here are the 12 best countries to retire in by New York Post in 2019.
Meanwhile, Yeoh has also urged the Federal Government to consider allowing international tourists who have been vaccinated to enter the country.
"Malaysia can consider opening up a ‘travel corridor’ with countries under strict control of the pandemic through the ‘tourism bubble’ programme, and gradually allow tourists who have completed the Covid-19 vaccination to enter the country under strict pandemic prevention guidelines, ” he said.
He added that it's vital to find viable alternatives to help sustain the industry and stabilise the tourism economy post Covid-19.
"Tourism is one of the main sources of income for our country’s economy, and we need to formulate appropriate policies to restart international tourism," he said.