Tourism stirs back to life


Yeoh (left) listening to the views of handicraft traders during his visit to shops catering mostly to tourists along Armenian Street in George Town, Penang.

THE first week after the reopening of interstate travel saw an influx of over 27,000 visitors to tourist attractions in Penang and a 45% to 75% occupancy at hotels.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the data compiled by the Association of Tourist Attractions Penang (ATAP) showed commendable turnouts at 14 of the state’s tourist attractions.

The attractions included Penang Hill, Penang Bird Park, The Habitat at Penang Hill, Audi Dream Farm, Tropical Spice Garden, Monkey Cup Garden, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, The Top in Komtar, Tropical Fruit Farm, Cheah Kongsi, Wonderfood Museum, Penang 3D Trick Art Museum, Tech Dome and Dark Mansion.

The 14 tourist attractions received 27,059 visitors during the period between Oct 11 and Oct 19.

Separately, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter recorded average hotel occupancy rates from Oct 15 to Oct 19.

Yeoh said hotels within the city and within the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site recorded an occupancy of 45% and 70% respectively.

“Occupancy rate at hotels in Bayan Lepas was at 50%, while beach hotels recorded a 75% occupancy.

“In Seberang Prai, there was a 65% occupancy rate,” he said when launching the guidelines for the resumption of tourism activities in Penang at Angsana Teluk Bahang on Thursday.

Under the state’s Responsible Tourism campaign, Yeoh said the Penang State EXCO Office for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) would be launching a set of tourism guidelines applicable to both tourists and tourism operators.

“This is to ensure that Penang’s recovery in the tourism economy can work in tandem with the efforts invested to subdue the virus.

“The guidelines include requiring operators to closely inspect digital vaccination certificates of visitors and provide a daily self-update of Covid-19 risk status.

“These procedures are to complement other common practices such as checking in and out via MySejahtera, temperature checks, regular sanitisation of public spaces, physical distancing measures, double masking, and provision of ample hand sanitisers.

“At the same time, we encourage operators to conduct a Covid-19 self-test for their employees every two weeks, and to adapt an online appointment mechanism for better crowd control.”

For tourists, Yeoh said on top of existing health protocols, they were encouraged to take a Covid-19 self-test prior to travelling to Penang, and to always double mask at public places.

He said tourism operators were welcome to get a copy of the guidelines from www.petace.gov.my/SOP for display at their respective premises.

Meanwhile, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Urban Services Department director Xavier Sebastian said during an Anti-Litter Ops carried out from Oct 15 to Oct 19, 11 compounds totalling RM2,750 were issued by the council to individuals found littering.

“The operation was carried out at areas like the Esplanade, Gurney Drive, Bukit Jambul Complex, below the second Penang Bridge, Karpal Singh Drive and at Teluk Bayu beach in Teluk Kumbar,” he said.

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