Heritage enclave still draws tourists


Popular spot: Travellers visiting Lebuh Armenian in George Town, Penang for souvenirs and more. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: For more than a decade, the heritage enclave has remained a magnet to local and foreign visitors, especially in July when the city celebrates its Unesco World Heritage status.

Tan Gaik Pheng, 52, owner of a souvenir shop along Lebuh Armenian, said holidaymakers love to take home mementos from their visit to show their families and friends.

“Business has picked up lately, both from local and foreign tourists. I sell all sorts of souvenirs including small items like fridge magnets, keychains, candle holders, wall art and other local-themed items.

“In the past six months, business has picked up with more people coming, especially during long weekends,” she said, adding that she recently raised her prices by a few sen as delivery charges had gone up.

Tan said she was not too worried as customers are not complaining.

“They like to take home things that are not too pricey,” she said.

Md Khasrulalam Israfil, 38, who runs both a souvenir shop and an ice-kacang and drinks shop in the heritage enclave, said business was not consistent.

“I run two shops, the souvenir one is doing well as people always buy something as gifts or remembrance.

“However, my drinks shop is not doing that well as most people usually head over to a cafe or Little India to eat.

“They only stop by if they are really thirsty and want to grab something cold,” he said.

Md Khasrulalam said with the prices of diesel increasing recently, delivery charges had also gone up.

“We are a small business, so it does not affect us as much, but the delivery fees for our orders went up by 20%.

“It has not impacted us since we did not place too many orders.

“I have not raised my prices as people might complain.

“Most of our prices here are about the same, which is why we are not unduly worried about competition,” he said.

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