Penang’s tourism industry ahs seen a remarkable recovery

where2life | February 8, 2024 | 0 | Events , Happening Now , News , Special features , Spotlight , Travel

Penang’s Top 10 international arrivals in 2023 via the Penang International Airport are Indonesia, followed by Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Australia, UK, Japan and other Commonwealth countries.
At present, there are 13 international cities with direct flights to Penang. 
They include Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Medan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Banda Aceh, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Doha.
The update was shared by Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, YB Wong Hon Wai in a press statement today.
“After more than a year since the reopening of international borders, Penang’s tourism industry is thrilled to announce an outstanding recovery, showcasing resilience and adaptability. 
“Despite the delayed reopening of some top arrival countries, such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan, during the last quarter of 2022, Penang’s tourism has bounced back and exceeded expectations.

“The data also reveals a substantial increase in passenger movement, which refers to the total number of passengers from the flights that come in or leaving the airport regardless of local or foreign passenger. 
“The number of international flights has reached 259 weekly flights in December 2023 as compared to 210 in December 2022.

“The tourism industry in Penang has long been a crucial economic driver for the state, creating jobs and fostering economic growth. The recent surge in international arrivals is a testament to the industry’s ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions while maintaining its appeal to travellers.

“In 2023, Penang resumed flights with destinations including Guangzhou through China Southern Airlines, Xiamen via Xiamen Airlines, Doha through Qatar Airways, Bangkok and Phuket by Firefly, Banda Acheh by Firefly and Batik Air and finally, Hong Kong via Air Asia. 
“The addition of new international destinations like the upcoming India, Shanghai, and Dubai in 2024 reflects the growing connectivity and appeal of Penang as a global travel hub. 
“This expansion can bring various benefits to the region, including increased tourism, business opportunities, and cultural exchange. It also demonstrates Penang’s strategic importance in the international aviation network. The new flight routes could potentially boost economic activities, foster international relations, and enrich the local community with diverse experiences from these vibrant cities,” added Wong.
He also shared that the Penang cruise tourism is also seeing a remarkable recovery. In 2023, Penang welcomed 573,178 international passengers to its shores as compared to 439,012 passengers in 2022 and 409,943 passengers in 2019. The significant recovery indicates that Penang’s cruise tourism has not only returned to pre-pandemic levels but has also exceeded its previous performance.

Accommodating the increasing number of visitors, Penang has witnessed a mushrooming of accommodation options. In the year of 2022 and 2023, the state has welcomed new establishments such as Amari SPICE Penang, ASCOTT Gurney Penang, Citadines Connect George Town, Citadines Prai Penang, Bertam Resort & Waterpark Penang, The George and renovated G Gurney Hotel to our shores. 
There will also be exciting additions on the horizon, including Marriott Residences and Crowne Plaza Straits City in the first quarter of 2024.

In terms of infrastructure, we have completed the Multi-Level Carpark for Penang International Airport, the facelift of the Esplanade, PICCA Convention Centre @ Butterworth Arena and upgrades of our major port, Swettenham Port for better access and convenience. We will also be commencing the Penang Hill Cable Car project in no time in hope that it will meet its completion date at its earliest to provide ease to tourists who wish to visit the iconic landmark of Penang, Penang Hill. The Penang Hill Upper Station upgrading project is scheduled to open on 3 rd February this year. 
The much-anticipated Gurney Bay is also set for completion of Phase One, known as Priority 1, which is scheduled for this year. The over-a-century-old moat of Fort Cornwallis, under the premier historic structure restoration project, is set to be reinstated before it is open to the public in 2025.

The moat, on the south and the east, will be restored to its former glory. Penang Waterfront Convention Center (PWCC) is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

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