From being one of Asia’s leading sun, sea and sand destinations in the 1960s and 1970s, Penang’s tourism industry seemed to wane in the 1990s, in the face of stiff regional competition. But it looks like the good times are back with George Town’s recent Unesco World Heritage listing and the boom in the budget airline industry. Several of Penang’s key tourism players tell the Penang Economic Monthly why they’re optimistic about the future.
Taking tourism to the next level
GETTING HOLD of Penang Global Tourism’s (PGT) new managing director Ooi Geok Ling is a challenge in itself. Getting through to her mobile is no problem; pinning her down in one location long enough to conduct an interview is another matter. Like an Energiser bunny, the woman just does not stop. When I finally managed to catch up with her on a public holiday, she had just spent the whole morning showing two travel writers around Penang.
To Ooi, being hands-on is all part of the job and, as she explained, taking on the role of tourist guide is something that came naturally to her.
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