Monday, May 28, 2007

Tourism challenges for Penang Need to improve services

GETTING tourists to go to Penang without improving tourism products and services is like “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs''.

State Tourism Development and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow said yesterday that if the state wanted to retain tourism as one of its main revenue earners, the industry players would have to work harder to improve the quality of services.

“One of the key elements in the tourism industry is service.

“We can have a product which is on par with any other in the region, but what is the point if we are lagging behind in services?

“Thirty years ago, Penang was the top tourist destination in the region.

“But now we are facing stiff competition, not only from other regions but also within the country,'' he said at the launch of the Penang Tourism Appreciation Award.

Teng also said the tourism industry should be rejuvenated and reformed from within to face the challenges in the industry.

Penang Tourist Centre Bhd chairman Datuk Syed Aidid Syed Murtaza who was present said the standard of services extended to tourists in Penang was above average.

“With better training and education, especially for those front liners in the industry, the standard can be improved further,'' he said.

The award is given every two months to any individual or organisation that provides service or products which meet the expectation of tourists.

The award is given to the best nomination based on various criteria.

Nomination forms are available for free in hotels, Penang International Airport, restaurants and other tourism-related outlets.

Completed forms should be returned to the Penang Tourist Centre, Penang Port Commission Building, (Ground Floor Arcade), Pesara King Edward, 10300 Penang.

An independent panel of judges will pick the winner based on certain criteria and after conducting an interview.

Syed Aidid said the award was launched to improve services and to give recognition to those who had contributed to the industry.

“A dinner will be held early next year to announce the winner,'' he added.

Source : STAR
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