GEORGE TOWN: The first Focus Group Discussion of the Penang Tourism Master Plan held last Friday was concluded successfully with more than 80 stakeholders involved.
The Penang State Exco for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said various tourism players in the industry were present to share their input and suggestions concerning local issues.
Yeoh said there will be a total of six FGD sessions until September and said the participation of all stakeholders in the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) of Penang Tourism Master Plan (PTMP) are crucial as it will become Penang state’s masterplan for tourism sector for the upcoming 10 years leading up to Penang 2030.
“The FGD is aimed at gathering constructive and relevant inputs from the stakeholders and various tourism players in order to develop an effective plan that will be in use for the coming ten years.
“At the same time, it ensures that potential problems can be addressed and communicated to us in order to develop a comprehensive plan that all Penangites will, and can use,” he said.
FGD is aimed at gathering constructive inputs and feedback on the various issues and concerns affecting tourism and the travel industry thus to further enhance the tourism industry of Penang.
“The state government believes strongly in stakeholder engagement and involvement at policy level, and hence these focus group sessions are held with various key agencies, organisations and community,” said Yeoh at the opening of the FGD.
“The implementation cannot be carried out by just state government as it involves everyone from the tourism players, to everyone in the industry and even the community. If I work alone, I think there will be a lot of limitations. Only with assistance and support from leaders and agencies as well as local communities can we go further for the next ten years,” he said.
The FGD covered issues and challenges on the supply side of tourism namely attractions, accommodation, information and promotion, transportation and services, opportunities and threats to stimulate the growth of the tourism industry, as well as identifying emerging trends of tourism, nationally and regionally.
The PTMP represents a comprehensive plan for the state to develop the tourism sector from 2020 until 2030 as well as an important component to support the Penang2030 vision to strategically position Penang in the competitive international market. The PTMP be divided into two phases from 2020 to 2025, and from 2025 to 2030.
Also present were Lead Consultant of YZD Planning & Consult Professor Dr. Bada Mohamed, CEO of Penang Global Tourism (PGT) Ooi Chok Yan and other tourism stakeholders.