Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Now Guan Eng knows that Penang Tourism sucks...

I will fully support any initiative in this matter of tackling Penang's tourism woes. It's time to bring back the shine to our pearl. As reported by NST Online today:

Clean up Penang to attract more tourists - This was the message given to new Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at his first meeting with the state tour agencies here today.

“I’m shocked to hear this. I came to listen to macro-issues on how to bring more tourists to Penang but what I got was complaints of dirty and smelly places and lousy service,” he said.

He said these fundamental problems, especially the the ones that come under the purview of the state government, would be addressed immediately.

“Looks like we got to roll up our sleeves and start working,” he said at the short meeting with about 100 members attending the annual general meeting of the the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta).

Lim said tourism is one of the key components of Penang's economy and thus needs to be rejuvenated to bring in more income, especially in terms of foreign exchange.

Among others, there were calls to have clean public toilets, beaches and drains. There were also requests to have a pre-booking counter for tram services at Penang Hill, enhance the eco-tourism concept, tourism products and souvenirs.

The tourism industry also wants the state government to have constructive consultation with them before implementing or introducting plans for the industry, especially with regards to colonial buildings which it said should maintain their originality when refurbished.

Matta Penang Chapter secretary Evelyn Toh said the industry should have a state tourism executive councilor who is passionate and pro-tourism to better understand their issues and problems.

“We need an exco member who will listen to us and know our needs. Someone who loves the tourism industry as much as we do and who knows that even we can make good recommendations, she told Lim.

She also asked for better signboards to be put up throughout the state.

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