Penang creates task force to support tourism industry

 Thursday, April 23, 2020 


The Malaysian island of Penang has decided to form a special ‘Tourism Penang Next Normal Task Force’ with the aim of collecting the opinions of stakeholders in the tourism industry to formulate strategies that ensure the viability of the sector.



Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is also the task force chairman, said in a statement that the task force was formed due to the importance of the travel and tourism sector, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses related to the sector.



He mentioned that Chow said the service sector is the largest contributor to the state’s gross domestic product, accounting for 49%, followed by the manufacturing sector at 46%, where part of the expenditure comes from the tourism industry.



He added that the expenditure includes spending on Penang’s world-famous and popular street food, recreation, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition, MICE tourism, medical tourism, hotels, homestays as well as art and culture, among others.



He informed that the Tourism Penang Next Normal Taskforce will be having a virtual roundtable session on Saturday with industry stakeholders for an early discussion on the impact that sector related to tourism will face. He said that based on the crisis evaluation report of the state think-tank Penang Institute, it was found that nearly 74.9% of the small-and- medium-scale enterprises in the sub-sector of arts, entertainment, and recreation are micro-enterprises and the economic risks affecting this group is extremely high.



Alongside taking a serious note of the socio-economic effects of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the state government would also take early action to ensure the survival of the people and state as a whole. CM Chow also announced that state tourism, arts, culture, and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin is the deputy chairman of the task force with the secretariat at Penang Global Tourism.


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