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Penang launches latest tourism campaign

Penang Global Tourism, the state tourism board, has launched Experience Penang 2020 in Kuala Lumpur

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There are many events taking place in Penang like the colourful Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Credit: PGT

KUALA LUMPUR - Penang Global Tourism (PGT) has unveiled its latest campaign, Experience Penang 2020 (EPY2020), with the tagline, The Diversity of Asia. Over 20 tourism establishments travelled from Penang to Kuala Lumpur to be present at the launch on 12 March.

PGT CEO, Mr Ooi Chok Yam, gave an extensive presentation of the campaign and the highlights and charms of Penang to the audience of tourism professionals who stayed on for intense B2B sessions after the launch.

PGT also launched their outdoor advertising campaign along some roads in the city's Golden Triangle one of the first state tourism boards to do so and in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, at a time when domestic tourism is being emphasised.

Mr Ooi said: "The campaign highlights endless enriching experiences that are bound to satisfy one and all - the culturally curious, the thrill-seekers, the revellers, the foodies and the explorers. For example, the culturally curious travellers can experience the ever-present tastes, sights and sounds of Asia in Penang, where treasure troves of culture and heritage can be found in the city of George Town, rural heartland of Balik Pulau and narrow hinterland of Seberang Perai."

He also highlighted the various infrastructural projects and new attractions that are ongoing and expected to start soon. These include the expansion of the Penang International Airport to receive 16 million arrivals (currently it handles 8.3 million past the original capacity of 6.5 million); the expansion of the cruise terminal in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd; the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre; Penang Sentral the one-stop hub on the Penang mainland for buses/trains/ferries; the light rail transit project; the Penang Hill cable car; Gurney Wharf (slated for completion in 2021); and the first Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park.

Mr Ooi also mentioned that a number of hotels had opened late last year and are also expected to open this year, at least five new properties. He said a number of attractions like The Top, The Gravityz, Design Village (purportedly the largest outlet mall in Malaysia) are also operating now.

He emphasised the many international awards and accolades given to Penang and also the existence of the World's First Tower Curved Skywalk, the World's Highest Ropes Course Challenge, the World's Longest Water Slide (at 1.11km cited by Guinness World Records) and more.

He added that there were a lot of events happening throughout the year including the new Penang International Container Arts Festival (PICAF) is the first festival in Asia to feature urban art on big container installations at five different locations - launched in January till end of 2020 and proving already popular with the Instagram crowd.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, PGT assured international and domestic tourists that measures have been put into place to safeguard safety and health of all visitors. On March 11, they launched a video campaign called Peace of Mind for use by all tourism stakeholders in Penang.

A concerted effort and plan are being put in place to recover the decline of businesses in Penang's tourism sector. This concerted recovery action plan involves the Malaysia Association of Hotels, Penang Chapter; Malaysia Chinese Tourism Association, Penang Chapter; Malaysia Association of Tour & Travel Agents, Penang Chapter; and Association of Tourism Attractions Penang where special packages are being created to aggressively promote Penang to both domestic and overseas agents.

He said: "We are fortunate that Penang has a very diversified market that does not depend on one particular country or even a few countries. We also have a strong domestic market that favours Penang. In our experience with SARS previously, we found that there as a high rebound after the outbreak was over and we expect the same to happen here."