Monday, May 14, 2007

More Middle East tourists expected in Penang

PENANG expects more tourist arrivals from the Middle East in the coming months.

Recent complaints from Arab travel agents to Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor did not reflect the opinion of all Middle East tourists, state Development, Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow said.

“We must remember that the beauty of Penang is not just on the surface. The glow of the Pearl of the Orient also comes from its people and the city itself.

“Many Arab tourists have good experiences here although we admit that there are still some places that are dirty. It is the same in every country. Even in Singapore there is rubbish. I personally think Geylang is dirty.

“Unfortunately, the general perception is that Penang is not clean. We do not deny that there is still a lot to be done but the state and local authorities have been working hard to clean up the rubbish,” he said, adding that Penangites themselves must change their attitude and mindset.

“They must also do their part. The state, Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) and the relevant authorities have already done so much including stepping up efforts to clean the streets, address the sewage problem in Jelutong, place lock booms in rivers to trap floating rubbish and implement a more efficient garbage collection system,” he said.

Teng added that although tourist arrivals had not met the state’s initial expectations, hoteliers had reported an increase in occupancy.

“With the upcoming Penang Bridge Marathon 2007 on June 24, there will be an added boost for the tourism sector,” he said.

Source : STAR
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