GEORGE TOWN, The Penang government is utilising every opportunity available, especially the state’s internationally recognised advantages, to attract more tourists to Penang.

State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee (PETACE) chairman Wong Hon Wai said Penang is using these opportunities to enhance existing tourism products as new attractions, including natural beauty, delicious food, cultural heritage, traditional customs and unique arts.

He said efforts have been made to promote Penang’s attractions to international tourists so they can enjoy new experiences, and discover and get to know the distinctiveness of Penang.

“We introduce various tourism themes and packages, such as weddings, conferences, medical exhibitions, cruise ships and cultural heritage, to provide a variety of tourism experiences,” he told Bernama today.

He said this when commenting on a report by Post Office, a leading UK retailer, which named Penang as the 11th cheapest tourism destination worldwide.

The announcement was made as
part of the Holiday Money Report 2024 edition, where Penang was not only recognised as the 11th best destination worldwide but was also conferred the title of the fourth best destination in Asia.

Wong said the current exchange rate of the ringgit is favourable to the tourism industry, offering foreign tourists the opportunity to enjoy various culinary and entertainment experiences at reasonable prices in Penang.

He said Penang’s tourism products are known for being good and high-quality choices, allowing tourists to enjoy stays in luxury hotels at reasonable costs.

Upcoming projects like the Penang LRT, Penang International Airport (LTAPP) expansion and Penang Hill cable car system would further strengthen Penang’s position as a leading tourist destination, he said.

“All stakeholders and every strata of society should join forces to develop the tourism industry in Penang,’ he added.

Wong said that in the past six months, he had visited Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and New Delhi to promote Penang and is confide
nt that the visa-free travel policy will bring in more Indian tourists by the end of the year.

“The implementation of a 30-day visa exemption between Malaysia and China has given a significant boost to the tourism industry, but the positive effects of the visa waiver policy for India are still not visible,” he said.

He said the number of international cruise ships arriving in Penang has also increased.

In the first two months of this year, there were 45 voyages bringing 131,208 tourists, compared to 31 arrivals with 108,039 tourists in the same period last year.

“During the same period, the number of domestic and foreign tourists arriving at LTAPP increased by 26.93 per cent to 577,329 people from 454,839 people in the corresponding period last year. I believe the number of tourists will continue to increase,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency