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Penang tourism bureau lost RM1m

 | October 19, 2012

Though Penang's tourism bureau is losing money, the state is bringing in more tourists every year.

PETALING JAYA: Penang state-owned tourism bureau has lost more than RM1 million in three years since it was formed in 2008.

According to the Auditor-General’s report for 2011, the Penang Global Tourism Sdn Bhd (PGTSB) was found to have lost (all pre-tax) RM5,584 in 2008 and RM1.88 million in 2010, only gaining a profit of RM0.79 million in 2009.

The company was also wholly-owned by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC).

Terming its financial performance as “unsatisfactory”, the Auditor-General said that the PGTSB relied on state government grants to keep it up and running, which came up to RM3.47 million, RM2.75 million and RM6 million in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The report also revealed that PGTSB’s expenses increased and its revenue shrunk in 2010, compared to 2009; contributing to these losses. Total expenses amounted to RM2.67 million and RM4.66 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

No grants were given by PDC in 2008, with the expenses then recorded as administrative.

On the increased expenses, the report said: “The increase was from tourism promotional expenses run by the Penang State Tourism Office.”

At the same time however, the report noted that Penang’s tourism had been steadily growing over this three-year period.

A total of 1.34 million tourists visited the state in 2009, a 4.8% decrease from 2008 (around 1.45 million).

In 2010 however, this increased to 1.69 million people, before coming up to 1.78 million in 2011. For both years, more than a third of the tourists comprised of foreigners (629,011 in 2010 and 607,340 in 2011).

The report also noted that Penang seemed to have higher tourism percentage entries for Southeast Asian tourists than compared with the rest of Malaysia in 2011.

In 2011, the number of tourists coming to Malaysia from Singapore and Brunei increased by 2.5% and 10.2% respectively. Tourists coming from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia here declined by 25.6%, 1.1% and 14.8% respectively.

That same year, the number of tourists coming to Penang from Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia increased by 18.3%, 78.6%, 17.2%, 3.5% and 24% respectively.


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