Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Opening Ceremony WTCF Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference
26 March 2017, 2.30pm
SPICE Convention Centre
Ladies and gentlemen
It is a great honor for me to welcome all delegates of the WTCF Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference to the beautiful island of Penang.
I am proud that Penang has been chosen by the World Tourism Cities Federation to co-organize this prestigious conference which brings government officials, policy makers, destination managers and media from various countries.
The theme of conference is “One Belt One Road: Development of Tourism Corridor and City Hub”. Penang is the perfect venue for such an influential conference because Penang is one of the top tourism destination in the region.
Penang was selected as the “No. 2 in the 17 Best Places In The World to Visit in 2017” by CNN, “No. 1 Best Healthcare In the World” by International Living.
Traveller.com from Australia published a list of “25 Best Streets in the World You Must See Before You Die” and Penang’s Gurney Drive came out at number 13 noted for the best street food.
The “One Belt One Road” initiative brings more opportunities for cities in Asia-Pacific to create and promote sustainable tourism.
Penang is fast developing into an international and intelligent city, and a location of choice for manufacturing, investments and a destination of choice for tourists.
The number of hotel rooms in Penang have grown by 6.1% from 2006 to 22,100 rooms in 2015. Hotel guests have also grown to 6.3 million in 2015.
Aside from that, there are various new attractions in Penang such as The Top in the new KOMTAR which was restored for RM200 million ,the fabulous Penang Hill and George Town World Heritage Site.
Penang is also moving into the important segment of Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) with the completion this new convention center and another one planned to be completed by 2021. SP Setia has invested RM 750 million in the completed Setia SPICE Convention Centre project here which can fit 550 tables.
Even in the mainland of Batu Kawan the RM 250 million Penang Design Village that sells branded goods at a discount. KDU Penang University College will be setting up a brand new 10- acre flagship campus in Batu Kawan with an investment of RM220 million. The RM 600 million IKEA store will also be opened at the end of 2018.
We are the most livable city in Malaysia and will strive to be cleaner, greener, safer and healthier Penang.
Remember not to miss Penang street food- the best in the world. If you have not put on a kg before you leave Penang, then you have not been to Penang. Do not worry about seeking medical treatment, Penang has the best private hospitals in Malaysia – with more than 50% market share. We aim to make Penang a medical city for all our foreign friends.
I believe in these two days, delegates of the WTCF Asia-Pacific Conference will gain rare and useful insights from industry leaders on how to achieve this. I am also confident the conference will encourage different cities to work with one another to generate creative and innovative ideas.
Lastly, I would like to again thank WTCF and welcome all delegates to Penang, and I hope you will have a memorable and fruitful time in Penang.