Penang looking at various promotions to attract visa-free tourists

GEORGE TOWN: Hotel operators in Penang are intensifying face-to-face and online promotions abroad, especially for tourists from China and India, who have been granted visa-free entry into Malaysia.

Penang Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH) chairman, Tony Goh, said that besides introducing their hotels and tourism products in the state, they also promoted discount offers for their hotel rooms.

"The promotion package by the hotels has been going on for a long time, but since the government introduced the visa-free entry, the association and the hotel operators are intensifying promotions to attract more tourists from China and India to Penang.

"Besides doing it online through the hotel's social media channels and websites, there are also hotel representatives who go to the countries concerned to do face-to-face promotions," he said when contacted by Bernama.

Goh said the visa-free entry offered by the government for tourists from some countries was expected to increase tourist arrivals in the country, especially from China by up tp 20 to 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman, Wong Hon Wai, said the state government was also in discussions with several airlines in China to have more direct flights from the country flying into Malaysia.

"Currently, there are two direct flights from China to Penang and no direct flights from India to the state. We are discussing with several airlines in India to have direct flights to Penang," he said.

Wong said the state government also planned to hold a "roadshow" in China early next year to promote the state to travel agencies in the republic.

"For the roadshow in China, it is a two-pronged approach, where we not only promote travel for individuals or small groups, but also for large groups with seminar services in Penang because we have several convention centres that can accommodate a large number of people," he added.

Kampung Agong manager, Mohamad Ikram Izzat Roslan, said he is working with more than 20 travel agencies to promote the village to foreign tourists, especially from China.

"We hope that with this visa-free entry, more people will come here," he said.

Kampung Agong, located in Penaga, Kepala Batas, has a traditional village concept that gives a different aura with beautiful panoramas, green surroundings and unique architectural replicas like at resorts abroad. — Bernama

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