Penang will be ready to welcome tourists by Q3, Q4 2020: State exco

GEORGE TOWN (May 14): Penang expects to welcome tourists by third or fourth quarter of this year following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said despite Penang being a green zone state, the state is still working to rebuild the tourism industry.

“We can only accept tourist in the Q3 or Q4 of this year as we are in the planning to rebuild the industry. Now, we do all the strategies and planning for us to prepare for Q3 and Q4," he said during an online forum titled “Next Normal for Business Events Penang - How Business Events Penang Will Charter Post-MCO World” here today.

Panellists for the conference include Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer (CEO) Ashwin Gunasekeran, Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter chairman Khoo Boo Lim, Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (Ilam) honorary secretary Charles Teo and the event moderator, who is also Place Borneo CEO Mona Manap.

Yeoh said the state government is implementing the Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy (PGRS) with very strict standard operating procedures (SOP) to allow more businesses to begin their operations.

“We have to do it gradually. If we go too extreme on the industry, we will kill the people and if we get too extreme on health then we are jeopardizing the industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, for the hotel industry, Khoo said new SOP is currently in place for hoteliers with comprehensive guidelines for hoteliers to follow during this period.

“We came out with four main control measures for the hotel to follow when they start operation which are crowd management, queue management, sitting management and interaction management," he said.

Khoo also urged the event organiser to review their SOP for holding hotel events in order to prevent large gathering.

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