Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hoteliers: Create more tourist spots - The Star

May 6, 2008

THE Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MBHA) Penang Chapter wants the state government to create new tourist spots.

MBHA Penang Chapter chairman Datuk Lim Mee Lee said Penang was in need of new products and attractions to draw tourists and boost the tourism industry.

“We propose that the state develop Penang Hill, which is a location that can be developed into a holiday, honeymoon and retirement haven.

New committee: (From left) Law and MBHA Penang Chapter legal advser Khaw Ewe Seng witnessing the swearing-in of the association office bearers.

“The state owns several bungalows on the hill that can be repaired and converted into holiday getaways,” he said.

Lim also said Bayan Bay near Pulau Jerejak would be an ideal location for water sports with its cleaner waters and fewer swimmers, compared to the much-frequented beaches in Batu Ferringhi.

He also proposed that the state government set up a state-run Tourism Training Centre to train people in the hospitality and tourism industry.

He was speaking at a dinner and dialogue session organised by MBHA on Saturday, which was also attended by state Tourism Development and Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang.

Lim also urged MBHA members to focus on cleanliness, security and maintaining good relationships with their clients for the benefit of their businesses.

“Due to the rise of budget airlines around the world, more people are travelling overseas. With more tourists coming in, budget hotels are also enjoying good business,” he said.

According to Lim, 74 out of over 120 hotels in Penang were budget hotels and most of their guests were backpackers.

Law assured MBHA members that tourists would be coming to Penang with major events like the International Dragon Boat Race coming up. He added that the state government would reduce bureaucratic red tape in applications for new hotels.

“Currently, to open a new hotel, must be acquired. We will cut down the number of licences to three and speed up the application process.” He encouraged hoteliers and businessmen to rescue and revive the state’s five bungalows on Penang Hill to attract tourists.

Earlier at the dinner, Law also witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of the new MBHA Penang Chapter office bearers.

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