Don’t build more, fix problems first, Penang tourism master planners told

Significantly less than a month to go right before WiT Indie kicks off in Penang on March thirteen, and fireworks have exploded in excess of the new Penang Tourism Learn Plan that was presented a week ago, with criticisms ranging from it not conference the needs of field and travellers to “building extra when we must be resolving problems”.

Adhering to the presentation by YZD Planning and Consult main marketing consultant Prof Badaruddin Mohamed, Ooi Geok Ling, co-founder of WiT Indie, was quoted in the community media as indicating, “You chat about revitalising different tourism and yet I see micro initiatives of creating this or that construction when there is no evidence that creating extra matters will bring in extra holidaymakers.”

Khoo Kongsi, a big Chinese clanhouse, is one of Penang’s major historic points of interest.

According to the report, “the new
grasp approach calls for 104 initiatives, which includes actual physical initiatives and
programmes. The proposals consist of producing house for a Penang tourist evening
industry marketing community merchandise, a wellness and aesthetics vacation resort enclave, a
topic park, a Penang Grand Bazaar, an Aqua Zoo, a 6-star spa, a Penang arts
and society enclave, a Penang Legend Athletics and Leisure Town, a Tanjung
Accomplishing Arts and Cultural Extravaganza and a lot of extra. The proposed initiatives
are scattered all in excess of the state, ranging from Balik Pulau to George City on
the island and from Butterworth to Batu Kawan on the mainland”.

The grasp approach comes at a time when Penang’s tourism field is struggling with worries, even without having the current Covid-19 virus disaster into thought. Hunting at Penang Intercontinental Airport statistics, in between 2007 and 2019, the optimum number of international arrivals was 717,714 in 2014 that dipped to 553,one hundred in 2017. Very last year’s tally of 669,679 hence is just creeping back again to the 2015 degree of 681,126.

As with all secondary locations, Penang’s international tourism fate relies on air links. The drop in international arrivals is induce for worry as the island seeks to outline and differentiate itself, twelve decades just after it received its UNESCO Planet Heritage listing. With that halo waning, its road food stuff society getting to be extra commonplace and its shorelines getting rid of charm, obviously the new grasp approach was an try to revitalise the field.

But field practitioners say that doesn’t indicate creating extra when there were myriad complications to be preset on the floor. For case in point, the deficiency of good facts to superior have an understanding of who were the travellers viewing Penang was cited as a basic dilemma to be preset. As well as, there are heaps of actual physical and organic assets previously there, that could be cleaned up, conserved and guarded for a extra sustainable long run in which the vital term has become “repurposing” not “building”.

Campbell House: Operator Nardya Wray believes the approach does not optimise what Penang has to give. (Impression credit rating: Campbell House)