Kudos to Penang’s recovery efforts

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 12 Sep 2020

Nancy Shukri (centre, red tudung) looking at the Mah Meri tribe members doing handicraft at the Selangor Tourism booth after launching the Whole Penang 2020 exhibition at Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE national average hotel occupancy rate now is 38% at beach and island destinations and 20% in cities.

Penang’s average is 37%, but Batu Ferringhi’s beach hotels enjoy over 70% occupancy on weekends, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

“I have to applaud the people and industry players in Penang for their initiatives and commitment in maintaining Penang as a tourism haven despite the pandemic, ” she said.

Giving an update on the hard-hit hospitality sector, Nancy said Malaysians were responding to calls to support domestic tourism.

“This implies that one of our key strategies to re-calibrate tourism and cultural industries, which is restoring confidence to travel by promoting feel-good factors and success stories in overcoming Covid-19, is on the right track.

“The outlook for the trade and business events industry in Malaysia is positive.

“Previously, Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) secured and supported 3,863 business events from 2010 to 2019, generating RM26.9bil in estimated economic impact with the traffic of almost 2.1 million business delegates to the country.

“From January to August, MyCEB, in collaboration with local associations, secured 20 international conferences from 2020 to 2024, with a targeted 14,000 delegates and RM173mil economic impact.

“We will look at Penang for its success in developing a cohesive urban tourism.”

She was speaking at the launch of World Hospitality, Lifestyle and Entertainment Exhibition and Conference (Whole Penang) 2020.

Participated by over 100 physical and 74 virtual exhibitors, the event was held at Setia SPICE Convention Centre from Thursday to Saturday.

“The theme of Whole Penang 2020 is ‘Bleisure’ to depict the blending of business and leisure, and that is what tourism and hospitality have to offer, ” she said during the opening ceremony.

Nancy added that the government had carried out several recovery plans, initiatives and strategies through Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac).

“Motac’s key strategies include leveraging on smart tourism to optimise marketing and promotional efforts.

“We must adapt to this new way of life and not avoid the challenges. We can thrive in the new normal by cleverly navigating the pandemic’s threat, ” she said.

Present were state tourism development committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Tourism Malaysia domestic and events division senior director Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar, Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekaran and Alpine Group Services managing director Anita Jacobson.

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