Penang’s chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said a tourism master plan is currently in the works to “repackage” the state to include ecotourism in Seberang Perai, Penang. The master plan will analyse tourism development as a whole in Penang and include world heritage sites, beaches, national parks and ecotourism sites on Seberang Perai, according to multiple media reports including the Malay Mail and the New Straits Times.
According to Chow, it is crucial to include Seberang Perai in the state’s tourism master plan and leverage its natural assets such as mudflats, migratory birds and mangroves. Chow also described river bank areas to be an important tourist asset in other countries, As such, he said the state will also leverage on the Perai river’s potential to promote the state.
He added that the Mengkuang Dam in Seberang Perai also has the potential to become a popular tourist area with some upgrades. Chow said that by including Seberang Perai, Penang can be marketed holistically with packages comprising tourism spots both on the island and Seberang Perai. As such, tourists can spend about three to four days on the island and two to three days in Seberang Perai.
Penang’s state tourism executive committee has been tasked with the responsibility of creating the master plan. Chow also said that the tourism sector is an “important sub-sector” of Penang’s services industry, which forms 49% share of its economy. The services sector comprises business process outsourcing, outsourcing and logistics and shared services.
Penang also made headlines recently when AirAsia Indonesia and Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) tied up to jointly promote the state as Malaysia’s top healthcare tourism destination, with AirAsia as the preferred airline for direct connectivity.