AirAsia Malaysia and Penang Global Tourism (PGT) are collaborating to elevate Penang as a preferred tourism destination in the region. The promotion will be done via an increase in commercial collaborations and partnerships between the airline and the tourism body to generate new business prospects, develop joint sales and marketing campaigns, strengthen flight connectivity, and boost the state's economy through tourism.
According to AirAsia, Penang will likely see an increase in tourists as it brings the region closer to the state with 184 flights weekly as a group. Resuming to pre-pandemic regularity, AirAsia has launched several routes including two new domestic routes from Kota Bharu and Sibu to Penang.
With a combined total of seven domestic and six international lines, AirAsia will not only encourage locals and foreign travellers to visit Penang, but extend tourism promotion through its airasia Super App with promotional deals across airasia cuisine, airasia transportation, hotels, SNAP, and other services.
Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia said: “We need a collective effort to rebuild the tourism industry and PGT has been instrumental in ensuring that Penang is tourism-ready post-pandemic. Since the gradual resumption of our services to/from Penang, we have flown over 584,000 guests into the state including more than 87,000 international guests since the border reopening in April. This would have not been possible without the continued support from the state government, PGT and other tourism players and we thank them for their continued ongoing cooperation."
Ooi Chok Yan, CEO of PGT said: “We are pleased to forge a stronger collaboration with AirAsia to strengthen the commercial opportunities for the state tourism in line with the Penang Tourism Master Plan 2021 to 2030. Through this partnership, we will launch exciting campaigns and initiatives in the coming months across all AirAsia key markets including both domestic and international, as well as tapping into the millions of airasia Super App users for cross-promotion activities."
“Through our Experience Penang campaign, the state government has been promoting less explored destinations such as Balik Pulau, Teluk Bahang and Seberang Perai, as an initiative to uphold inclusivity in efforts to reach out to more local communities and increase their livelihoods,” he added.
Last December, the Penang State Tourism first launched its “Experience Penang” campaign to drive domestic and international visitors to its shores. The ads are featured on the Cosmic Towers LED screen panels at the KL Sentral-NU Sentral junction and the Giant Cube located in front of the Lot 10 shopping centre. These locations were chosen based on KL's city centre reputation as the main tourist hub in the country and to maximise the campaign's effort in driving domestic and international tourists to Penang. The ads remind visitors of the state's attractions, from its two UNESCO-designated sites which are the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and the recently recognised Penang Hill UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, quirky street art, legendary street food, 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest, and diverse natural landscapes of hills and beaches.
In March this year, Penang was announced to have its own creative digital district, known as CD2 @ George Town. Penang's chief minister Chow Kon Yow said the state's ambition is to further attract investments in digital and software services to spur the state’s digital ecosystem.
"In line with our Penang2030 vision, CD2 @ George Town aims to revive the urban core through the fusion of heritage and digital," he added. To cope with the rising demand for access and speed in driving digitalisation, the CD2 @ George Town will feature a 5G network infrastructure, enabling businesses and communities in the vicinity to benefit from high-speed internet. In line with the digital transformation plan of Penang, it will also launch the CD2 Sandbox, to house start-ups, accelerators and incubators in its unique heritage-modern environment.
Aside from being chief minister, Chow is also the chairman of Digital Penang. Digital Penang is a government-linked company that began operations in April 2020 to accelerate efforts to capture opportunities in the digital economy and promote a digitally engaged society.
Over the next three years, Digital Penang is targeting to attract 50 digital investors into CD2 @ George Town with an investment commitment of 2,000 high-income jobs, said the company. Currently, eight companies have expressed its commitment and intent for the establishment of the centre. The eight companies are Angkasa-X, BlueSkies, Censof, CTAPPS, Finexus, Karuna Sarawak, Securemetrics and TriAset.
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