Forget about crowds of tourists this year, says Penang CM

A common sight in George Town before the Covid-19 crisis. The state government has warned tourism operators not to expect large crowds of tourists as before. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Tourism operators have been urged to adapt to the next normal in coping with the Covid-19 crisis as businesses will no longer operate as before.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government is keen to assist but the industry players must also re-adapt to the new normal and forget about attracting crowds of people in the next three to six months, if not longer.

“Not only Malaysia is in a semi-lockdown, most governments are also banning their citizens from travelling abroad for fear of them catching the virus and causing another infection chain when they return to their home country.

“Some of the tourism players may have to change their operation process in order to adapt to the new business environment. But whatever it is, let me assure you that the state government will be with you as we face this crisis together,” he said during a virtual tourism roundtable discussion here today.

He said the state government is also looking into waiving hotel fees for the coming six months in order to support the industry.

More than 150,000 workers are employed in tourism-related businesses in Penang and tourism earnings amount to RM9 billion across more than 35,700 business establishments.

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