News Tourism & Hospitality

Quality hotels key to state’s tourism appeal

THE presence of international hotel brands in Penang will help the state establish a presence in other regions of the world.

Be it raising awareness through cross promotions or enticing foreign travellers to visit due to brand familiarity, it will benefit the local tourism industry and its stakeholders.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said this in a recent ceremony announcing the debut of Ascott’s Harris-branded hotels in Penang with Harris Sunshine Penang in Ayer Itam.

“This new hotel under a well-known international brand gives travellers another reason to visit Penang and enjoy our famous hospitality.

“It makes us a more appealing destination, not just in neighbouring countries but also on the global arena,” he said.

“My office will work towards convincing more such brands to expand their footprint and invest here,” Yeoh said in his speech.

Now would be an opportune time, he continued, as there was increasing demand for travel with people across the world keen to get out and explore new places after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He urged industry players here to continue seizing such opportunities and adapting their products and services to cater to the latest innovations as well as evolving tourist preferences.

Yeoh said studies had also shown that 55% of people still took Covid-19 risks into account before booking their trips.

As such, he said the state’s “Responsible Tourism” campaign – aimed at making Penang a better and safer travel destination – was still as vital as ever.

“Online reviews have also become pivotal in travellers’ decision-making process, as 82% will not book a stay without first checking out other travelers’ experiences.

“This means we must uphold the quality of Penang’s hotel industry and never waiver from our mission of delivering amazing hospitality.

“Let’s envision the perfect hotel experience and take action to achieve it.

“If we collectively focus on making every guest feel like the only guest, we will have many more great years to come,” he added.

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