Traders prepare for domestic tourism

With the conditional movement control order lifted and interstate travel allowed, traders in Penang are busy making sure everything is spruced up and ready for visitors.

GEORGE TOWN: They have spring-cleaned their shops and are now awaiting for a fresh start to their business now that the conditional movement control order has been lifted here.

KC Tan, who runs a bicycle rental shop along Victoria Street, said he was hopeful that tourists would make a comeback as interstate travel was allowed now except for areas under enhanced MCO.

“People like to cycle around George Town, to see the murals and make pit stops at the various museums, ” said Tan, 50.

Dusting his bicycles and cleaning up his shop, Tan said it has been a difficult year but he was keeping his fingers crossed that the situation would improve.

“I hope the year end will bring in more tourists, ” he said.

These past few months, he said there were only “one or two people” every now and then who wanted to cycle around.

Lee Kah Lai, who sells durian puffs and ice-cream at Chew Jetty, was another shop owner looking forward to see the shine again in the Pearl of Orient.

“We had closed our shop when the conditional MCO was enforced, as there were barely any visitors to the state then, ” said Lee, 44.

“Now I hope business will pick up and we can make some money, ” she said yesterday.

Lee, who was seen cleaning her shop to welcome customers again, said on a good day before the Covid-19 pandemic, she could earn RM1,000 a day.

“There were days that I used to have people lining up to buy the puffs and ice-cream, ” she said.

But the contagion led to her barely earning any money for months.

“I know it will take some time for the business to pick up but I am hopeful that people will like my durian puffs and ice-cream.

“I make the puffs myself to ensure they taste authentic, ” she said.

She believes that interstate travel would bring visitors during the year-end holiday season.

Penang and other affected states were placed under conditional MCO from Nov 9 to Dec 6 due to a nationwide spike in Covid-19 cases.

It was announced on Saturday that the conditional MCO in Penang had been lifted, except for certain targeted areas.

The Jalan Paya Terubong flats and Desa Bistari Apartments are placed under targeted enhanced MCO from now until Dec 20.

Sub-district 12 and sub-district 13 in Penang island will remain under the conditional MCO until Dec 20 as well.

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