So according to the Star, NYTimes web site (www.nytimes.com) readers have place Penang as the 2nd most recommended to visit, for NYTimes own recommendation Penang is at 22nd spot. Penang is recommended as a Foodie and Frugal destination. Food such as Laksa and Char Koey Teow is mention and Char Koey Teow is describe as a “refined” dish. LOL! Look like Malaysians and Penanites efforts and obsessions in blogging on the food here got some recognition. Some blogs were even mention by name.
Either Way just to be listed on this list I feel is a big feather in Penang Cap already. Even “popular” destinations heavily promoted like Langkawi, KL, Sabah, Sarawak are not listed. Other Asia Destination listed here are Phuket, Boracay (Philippines), Saychelles, Bhutan, Doha (Qatar). Even the “top” destination like Bali Indonesia is no were to be found on the list.
Will this be a golden harbinger and translate in to an Influx of Foreign Tourists (instead of locals) to fill up Penang Hotels? Penang Hotels in Mid 2008 actually have the lowest room rate in Malaysia according to a Friend of mine who usually book rooms for himself (for his business trips) in various cities in Malaysia on a very regular basis. So it will definitely do some good to the Tourism Industry for Penang. Time only will tell..... but it sure bring good news and hope to the DAP / PKR Penang State Government and to the Penang Tourism and Hospitality Industry who has been in the down trend for the past few years.
As one of the person working in the Tourism Industry though not on the Beach Tourist Belt, but on the mainland, I myself do hope there will be a influx of “Well Behave” and high spending Tourists visiting, which will create good opportunities for all the Hotels / tourism players in Penang as well as in the other States of Malaysia. Tourist will not want to visit just one place only. Most importantly we the tourism players must not kill the goose that lay the golden egg by jacking the rates up and up.
Those People in Power in the Federal, State, Private Tourism organisation will have to take action to keep the tourist here (in Penang, In Malaysia) as long as possible, not to leave the tourist to seek entertainment for them self but to create entertainment for these tourist, reasons to continue staying. Things that can that can translate in to more room nites, more tour activities, more shopping, more eating and drinking, more actual tourist arrivals for this year and for the future, for this 2nd spot in the Top 44 Places to Visit in The World for 2009 to mean anything at all, Political, Business Rivalry etc all have to be put to one side.