Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Penang Cleanliness a Major Mar in Recent Berlin Tourism Fair

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s level of cleanliness has earned the wrath of key tourism players from Germany.

The Berlin-based tourism players voiced their displeasure about the state’s filthiness, particularly along the famous Batu Ferringhi beachfront, during the recently completed 2007 edition of the International Tourism Bourse (ITB), the world’s largest travel fair, held from March 5 to 11.

This is not the first time Penang received such negative remarks and there is fear among the travel trade industry here that the state would risk losing visitors from Germany if authorities do not take the comments seriously.

During the 2006 edition of the ITB, the state’s level of cleanliness was also challenged by the same group.

"There should be a change of mindset among Penangites.

"If they think tourism is the second major revenue earner after manufacturing, they should seriously pull their act together to change the state’s image," state Tourism Development and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow told the New Straits Times.

Teng said it was pointless for the state to continue to promote itself as a tourist destination when visitors have very negative perceptions about it.

"The onus is not only on the government to keep the state clean. Each and every citizen has an equally important role to play.

"It is sad that after all we have done, people still perceive us in such a negative manner," he added.

Teng also said that a project to ensure the attractiveness of Batu Ferringhi would be launched soon under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

To ensure the success of its implementation, he said there should be no political interference.

"Otherwise, it is pointless for us to carry on with anything," he stressed.

Source : NST
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