Lively weekend at the beach for holiday-starved Malaysians

GEORGE TOWN: It was a lively weekend for holiday-starved Malaysians with beaches up and down Batu Ferringhi here looking busy with water sports and family activities booked this weekend.

At the beachfront in Batu Ferringhi, watersports operators were seeing almost a 60% return in beach activities and family outings.

Watersports operator Mohamad Izahari Darus, 45, said this was the first weekend they are operating and they have received many bookings for watersports activities.

"At the moment, we have half our booking capacity filled with bookings for jet skis, parasailing and banana boat rides.

"As this is the first weekend, many people may flock to the beaches.

"After this, we will see how it goes. Hopefully, the coming weekends will still be this good," he said when met here Saturday (Oct 16).

Izahari said presently, many water sports operators decided to operate only on weekends as they expected less crowds on weekdays.

"For us, we operate from Friday to Sunday and on public holidays only for the time being," he said.

At Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said the occupancy was good this weekend.

"Our Shangri-La Golden Sands rooms are almost 100% occupied and our Shangri-La Rasa Sayang rooms have over 90% occupancy.

"We expect to hit 100% occupancy by this evening so our priority now is to ensure every guest adheres to the SOP with the high occupancy rates," he said.

Meanwhile, checks by The Star found that there were traffic jams of over 1km on roads leading to and from Batu Ferringhi.

Penang deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Fisol Salleh said they monitored an increase in traffic leading to the beach fronts in Batu Ferringhi.

"There is congestion here and there but we are taking measures to ensure that we are able to manage the influx of visitors and the traffic flow.

"In terms of enforcement, the northeast district team has issued compound notices totalling RM22,000 so far to seven individuals.

"This is for breaking the SOPs on dine-ins. In terms of SOP adherence, we found that places around town are making satisfactory efforts to adhere to SOPs.

"But as the police are unable to be everywhere to manage and monitor SOP adherence, we urge businesses to cooperate and ensure that they and their customers follow the SOPs," he said.

DCP Fisol said as they expected crowds over the long weekend, snap checks would continue at hotspots and tourist spots.

"We urge individuals who are not vaccinated to not break the SOPs.

"If there are instances where we find individuals who were not fully vaccinated breaking the SOPs, there will be no warnings or compromise.

"We will issue compound notices immediately," he added.

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Penang , Beach , Holiday , Travel , Restrictions Eased , Crowd , SOPs


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