According to first estimates, the tourism industry in Penang (Malaysia) has recorded a drop of between 30 to 40 per cent due to the travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), highlighted last week Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the travel and hospitality industries in the state will be affected due to a drop in tourist arrivals these two months.
“Restaurants, hotels and tourism-related industry is impacted and this will worsen if the travel restrictions are not lifted,” he said in a press conference after attending the opening ceremony of Dialight Penang Sdn Bhd’s new plant on the Malaysian island.
He said in the short term, the state’s Experience Penang 2020 programme will be affected as there were cancellations by tour groups from China. The state launched last October its ‘Experience Penang 2020’ campaign, with the tagline The Diversity of Asia, encompassing diverse elements of beauty, fun, amusement, excitement and satisfaction.
With the rise in demand for experiential travel, the campaign aims to highlight all of Penang’s splendour to visitors locally and abroad showcasing every aspect of Penang’s amazing diversity in culture, heritage, arts, food as well as its natural surroundings of sandy beaches, breathtaking hills and cityscapes. However, the campaign will need to be relaunched, once the virus crisis is over.
“There was an increase in cancellation of tour groups from China to many places all around the world including Malaysia and Penang,” he said.
“That is why the economic sector is looking for the early announcement of an economic stimulus package so that those impacted can have access to capital financing to help them face this challenge,” he said.
(Source: Malay Mail)