Penang tourism sector sees resilient rebound after borders reopen

08 Feb 2023 05:05pm
Pulau Pinang kekal sebagai pengeksport utama dengan sumbangan 30.8 peratus. - Gambar hiasan
Pulau Pinang kekal sebagai pengeksport utama dengan sumbangan 30.8 peratus. - Gambar hiasan

GEORGE TOWN - Penang’s tourism sector is seeing a resilient rebound following the reopening of international borders, with total passenger movement at the Penang International Airport (PIA) growing 681 per cent to 4.24 million persons in 2022, compared with 543,519 persons in 2021.

Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said this was more than 50 per cent of the volume registered pre-Covid-19 pandemic in 2019.

He said he is confident that the state would continue to excel and be at the top of the list of favourite tourist destinations.

"The recovery rate is extremely pleasing when we compare the current numbers to 2019, which is the pre-pandemic year. Last year, the total passenger movement at PIA reached 4.24 million compared with 8.33 million in 2019.

"This means that the state’s tourism sector is catching up to the pre-pandemic level as it sees a solid 59.93 per cent recovery rate even though borders were opened for only nine months in 2022,” he told a press conference on the state’s tourism activity performance here today.

Yeoh said the state has also been seeing a tremendous increase in direct international flights into the state since the reopening of international borders in April 2022, whereby the number of direct international flights increased to 184 weekly flights in December 2022 from 10 weekly flights in November 2021.

He said the arrival of international passengers also rose to 629,476 in 2022 from 7,367 in 2021, a significant increase of 8,445 per cent.

"These numbers are rock-hard proof and a proud outcome of our unremitting efforts and initiatives where the recovery is progressing on an unyielding motion even when most Asian countries only opened their borders in the fourth quarter of last year.

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"With more direct flights coming into Penang, we are looking forward to more encouraging figures this year,” he added - BERNAMA