Penang welcomes first fam trip

GEORGE TOWN, Penang, 30 March 2022: Tourism Malaysia’s Singapore office organised the first familiarisation trip from Singapore to Penang after the recent launch of a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).

The trip saw 15 invited guests, including six media representatives and four travel agents, plus representatives from Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia.

During a press conference held at The Prestige Hotel, Tuesday, the Penang state EXCO for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE), YB Yeoh Soon Hin welcomed the group after a long absence of international flights due to restrictions and lockdowns in Malaysia.

“Covid-19 pandemic plunged the global economy into a severe contraction, and the tourism sector was one the most drastically affected sector…After a close to a two-year pause, there is a need to gradually revive the industry and initiatives to generate economic activities need to be in place to ensure the substantivity of the tourism industry.” Yeoh told members of the fam trip. 

Since restrictions eased, there has been a spike in domestic travel to Penang, showing the island remains one of the top preferred destinations. The first batch of international visitors, including 60 Singaporean travellers, arrived on the 16 March inaugural VTL flight.

Yeoh noted that Singapore is the second-highest source of international tourists after Indonesia mainly due to its multi-ethnic community and its diversity of food, culture, heritage, art and natural surroundings.

“Every one of these categories stands out among the rest, making Penang a destination that travellers do not want to miss.”

Penang is the first state in Peninsular Malaysia to own two UNESCO sites; the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and the newly recognised Penang Hill UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Yeoh encourages “visitors to explore the century-old Street of Harmony along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling where four places of worship are a stone’s throw away from one another.

“Nature lovers can discover the beauty of nature in the Penang Hill UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The “Seven Wonders of Penang” attractions that are equally attractive will cater to the different needs of travellers who opt for Penang.”