State tourism, arts, culture and heritage (Petach) committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the focus was on communications and branding to build up confidence in Penang as a tourism destination.
“The plan will be based on hygiene and safety guidelines for hotels, tourist attractions and other areas of tourism to make Penang a safer place for locals and tourists.
“Petach is engaging with tourism players and emphasising on safety and hygiene, which is important to regain travellers’ confidence.
“This in turn will strengthen Penang’s promotional efforts.
“We are making necessary preparations to ensure that Penang is in a position to capture growth and rebound.
“We are encouraging partnerships among tourism players such as hoteliers, tourist attractions and airlines to introduce attractive and affordable packages,” he said.
Yeoh said they are focusing on domestic tourism for a start, in order to build demand and at the same time, make it affordable for families and friends to gather for weekend trips.
“We are considering an extension of 50% discounts for domestic tourists as part of our effort to boost demand.
“We appreciate that tourism players have been working closely with us throughout the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO period, in order to rebuild Penang’s tourism.
“During this crisis, the state has given out incentives to tourist guides, trishaw riders and tour bus drivers, and also set aside RM10mil as zero-interest loan to qualified tourism players in a move to help them with cash flow and retain their jobs and livelihood,” he said.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) Penang director Jonathan Freddy P. Bagang said during MCO and conditional MCO, hotels were only allowed to house existing guests, stranded tourists and workers from essential services.
“Now as we are reaching the recovery stage, a few hotels have come up with special promotional room rates to help build up occupancy rates.
“We want to encourage Penangites and those who know the state to revisit Penang.
“We want to show them the other side of Penang besides the beaches and George Town such as Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang, as well as the mainland.
“We want to reintroduce Penang through social media with videos that feature a series of visuals to keep Penang as a top tourist option,” he added.
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