GEORGE TOWN, Sept 17 — The Association of Tourism Attractions Penang (ATAP) hopes that tourism attractions in Penang can be reopened soon in order to keep the tourism industry alive.
Its president Ch’ng Huck Theng said that despite the relatively high numbers of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the tourism industry needed to prepare for post-COVID-19 recovery for business survival.
He also said that ATAP had a meeting with the Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin to consider a test run to reopen selected outdoor attractions.
“We feel that this (test run) is an important move for tourism industry players who are suffering from the major impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic with prolonged business closure since last year due to repeated movement control orders,” he said in a statement today.
He said that the test run will be conducted in a responsible manner, with only limited days of opening at limited capacity, as well as strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOP) monitored and enforced by the police and state authorities.
Ch’ng said ATAP also had a meeting with the Penang police chief and the police have agreed with their proposal, adding that they would provide full assistance in the enforcement and tightening of SOP at selected tourism attractions during the test run.
“However, ATAP has been trying to ask the Federal government to let tourism attractions open earlier but to no avail. Hence, this is our last avenue of seeking the Penang government to resuscitate this industry that has contributed remarkably to Penang’s economic growth,” he added.