Penang traders and hotels happy with tourist invasion


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Dec 2015

Long queue: Visitors waiting for their turn to buy Penang Hill tram tickets.

GEORGE TOWN: While holidaymakers have fun during the long weekend, traders are also enjoying happy days despite not having a break during this period.

Ice ball maker Ki Kang Chee said scores of people were queueing up in front of his stall in Armenian Street yesterday.

“We were so busy the past few days. Ice balls are the perfect snack during this hot weather and tourists just love it,” he said, adding that he could easily sell more than 300 sticks in a day.

Other food stall operators were also enjoying brisk business.

The heritage enclave, comprising Armenian Street, Acheh Street, Carnarvon Street, Toh Aka Street, Love Lane and Chulia Street, was abuzz with visitors.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chairman Khoo Boo Lim said most of the hotels were enjoying occupancy rate of at least 70%.

“This is an expected scenario during the holiday season. It will continue until the new school term starts,” he said.

A family of 12 from Kuala Lumpur was seen snapping pictures of the popular murals at the enclave.

Executive Alia Zainal Abidin, 30, said she came with her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.

“It has been about 10 years since we were last here. The state has really transformed.

“With the beautiful murals and choices of food, we probably have to make more trips to Penang,” she said when met near the Little Children On A Bicycle’ street mural.

Over at the Penang Hill, the big crowd lining up for tickets spilled over to the outside of the lower station as people thronged the hill resort.

However, traffic jam was the order of day as vehicles were seen crawling on roads leading to tourist hotspots, especially in Air Itam and the inner streets of George Town.

A motorist, who wanted to be known only as Ah Kaw, complained that he was stuck in a traffic congestion in Jalan Air Hitam for hours.

“We have been planning this visit to Penang Hill since beginning of the month.

“Unfortunately, we’re now stuck in the jam. It would take us some time before we can reach the foot of the hill.

“Then we would need to look for a parking lot,” he said.


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