BALIK PULAU, Oct 23 — The Penang government strongly believes that the state tourism sector will see a “V-shape” recovery once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin today said that the public still looked forward to travelling again once the pandemic is over.

“I believe that once a vaccine for COVID-19 is found and and it is safe to travel we can expect to see a “V-shape” recovery for the Penang tourism sector,” he told reporters here.

He said that the spike of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia had severely impacted Penang’s tourism industry, especially when domestic tourists were unable to travel due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

He also said that the main source of domestic tourists to Penang mostly came from the Klang Valley, which happened to be one of the few areas in Malaysia undergoing CMCO.

“Having the Klang Valley go through the lockdown during what is supposed to be the peak season for travel has hit the state tourism industry hard, but we have to accept it and be patient and hope things will be better in the near future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yeoh also said that the state government would be focusing on further growing the creative industry and turning it into a sustainable part of Penang’s economy, as well as maintaining it as Penang’s unique identity.

He said that the state’s creative arts industry always had a symbiotic relationship with the tourism industry.

“Tourism is one of the best ways to help promote the creative arts here in Penang and in return, the creative arts would help generate revenue for both the state and the artists,” he added.

Earlier today, Yeoh and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekeran conducted a courtesy visit to the Batek-Lah Collection production workshop at the Balik Pulau Craft Incubator Centre.

During the visit, Batek-Lah Collection sole proprietor James Lim show-cased the process of making Batik cloth and designs. 

The Balik Pulau Craft Incubator Centre currently houses two incubatees and three Kraftangan Malaysia-registered craft entrepreneurs, as well as the gallery of Balik Pulau-born palette-knife painting artist Koh Teng Huat.


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