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

Significantly less than a thirty day period to go just before WiT Indie kicks off in Penang on March thirteen, and fireworks have exploded above the new Penang Tourism Learn System that was introduced a 7 days ago, with criticisms ranging from it not meeting the demands of industry and travellers to “building far more when we should really be fixing problems”.

Subsequent the presentation by YZD Arranging and Seek the advice of chief specialist Prof Badaruddin Mohamed, Ooi Geok Ling, co-founder of WiT Indie, was quoted in the regional media as indicating, “You discuss about revitalising alternate tourism and but I see micro projects of constructing this or that structure when there is no proof that constructing far more factors will deliver in far more tourists.”

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

According to the report, “the new
master prepare calls for 104 initiatives, including physical projects and
programmes. The proposals consist of establishing area for a Penang tourist evening
market place offering regional goods, a wellness and aesthetics resort enclave, a
topic park, a Penang Grand Bazaar, an Aqua Zoo, a 6-star spa, a Penang arts
and culture enclave, a Penang Legend Sporting activities and Enjoyment City, a Tanjung
Undertaking Arts and Cultural Extravaganza and numerous far more. The proposed projects
are scattered all above the condition, ranging from Balik Pulau to George City on
the island and from Butterworth to Batu Kawan on the mainland”.

The master prepare arrives at a time when Penang’s tourism industry is struggling with challenges, even without using the current Covid-19 virus disaster into consideration. Looking at Penang Global Airport figures, involving 2007 and 2019, the highest selection of international arrivals was 717,714 in 2014 that dipped to 553,a hundred in 2017. Last year’s tally of 669,679 as a result is just creeping again to the 2015 amount of 681,126.

As with all secondary locations, Penang’s global tourism destiny relies on air backlinks. The fall in international arrivals is bring about for problem as the island seeks to determine and differentiate itself, twelve yrs following it got its UNESCO Globe Heritage listing. With that halo waning, its road food items culture getting to be far more commonplace and its beach locations getting rid of appeal, obviously the new master prepare was an try to revitalise the industry.

But industry practitioners say that doesn’t necessarily mean constructing far more when there had been myriad problems to be fixed on the floor. For example, the lack of suitable details to far better recognize who had been the travellers checking out Penang was cited as a fundamental trouble to be fixed. Plus, there are a lot of physical and natural property by now there, that could be cleaned up, conserved and secured for a far more sustainable potential in which the essential phrase has develop into “repurposing” not “building”.

Campbell Residence: Operator Nardya Wray believes the prepare does not optimise what Penang has to offer