by Danial Siah
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Left to right- YB Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy and Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB

Penang launches the BElong campaign at the Kuala Lumpur Connexion Conference & Event Centre (CCEC) as they aim to indoctrinate optimism and enthusiasm in the Penang Business events industry. This initiative by BElong in Penang is believed to perpetuate the funding for the hybrid domestic events as they welcome tourists once the international borders have opened. 

Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, Yeoh Soon Hin, mentioned that the state will strengthen the safety SOP in Penang to gain the trust of the tourist and hence why he initiated the state’s first “responsible tourism” campaign in 2020 to control the spread of Covid-19. 

Therefore, we should find the right balance between keeping people safe, protecting all stakeholders and the economy, and keeping our borders open.

“Resuming cross-border travel would undoubtedly aid economic recovery while also reinforcing the state’s viability and efficiency in the face of an ever-changing global scene. Tourism is one of the most important economic drivers in Malaysia, accounting. for a sizable portion of the country’s GDP and providing a significant boost to the economy,” said Yeoh.

Thorugh Penang 2030, Yeoh intends to develop Penang into a smart state while continuing the digital economy of Penang as it can attract more tourists and businesses to select Penang as the future travel destination. 

Chief Executive Officer of PCEB, Ashwin Gunasekeran also mentioned. “The campaign’s goals include sending a positive message that Penang is open for business beginning in 2022, maintaining destination awareness and increasing destination confidence in health and safety measures for corporate events, increasing RFPs and interest in future events to be held in Penang, and potentially increasing job new opportunities in the tourism, hospitality, and business events industries in Penang.”

In the closing of his speech, Yeoh spoke about how he wished that this initiative would benefit Penang and Malaysia’s economy. “As the State Exco Office for Tourist and Creative Economy (PETACE), I am working to restore the state’s tourism and creative economy sectors sustainably and inclusively to drive long-lasting economic growth while prioritizing people’s safety, health, and well-being. I am looking forward to when Malaysia can achieve endemicity soon by removing restrictions gradually as UNWTO and WHO claim that countries should implement coordinated and evidence-based approaches to balancing the concern of public health with retaining the survival of the tourism industry.”

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