Penang-Singapore vaccinated travel lane press conference in George Town, Penang

By TIN Media | Penang News Published 10 months ago on 15 March 2022
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Penang's tourism economy is set to receive a significant boost following the launch of the Penang-Singapore Vaccinated Travel lane (VTL) starting March 16, 2022. The VTL program would allow fully vaccinated passengers to fly between Penang and Singapore and vice versa on participating airlines without having to go through mandatory quarantine. Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, and Scoot Tigerair will begin weekly flights between Penang and Singapore.

Chairman of the Penang State Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) Committee, Yeoh Soon Hin, said earlier this month that he inspected Penang International Airport to ensure that all essential preparations for the inauguration of the Penang-Singapore VTL had been made.

Before the complete restoration of international tourism, the VTL scheme is critical since it will serve as a standard for future foreign travel activities.

"To ensure a smooth launch of VTL, we will maintain an open line of communication with airline representatives as well as airport staff members," he stated.
All airport personnel, airline employees, and inbound tourists, according to Yeoh, must adhere to and strictly follow all relevant health regulations.

On November 29 of last year, the VTL service between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) was launched for the first time. It had served 82,906 incoming passengers from Singapore as of February 28, 2022. Enhancement of passenger movement and communication, as well as health safety technology. Furthermore, the airport operator has guaranteed that all airport personnel has received full vaccinations.

Last year, the state government launched the "Penang Responsible Tourism" campaign and the "COVID-19 Safety Accreditation Program" to strengthen preventive measures taken by Penang's tourism industry players to ensure the safety of travelers while ensuring the sustainability of the state's travel industry.

Penang is the first state in Malaysia to begin activities led by PETACE and spearheaded by the Penang State Government throughout the recovery period.

The goal of the Penang Responsible Tourism campaign, which was launched in July of last year, was to urge all visitors and tourism sector participants to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

This is critical in increasing the travel safety bar and assuring travelers that the Penang government prioritizes travel safety and welcomes tourists to its shores for worry-free vacations.

"The importance of standard operating procedures (SOP) compliance among industry operators and members of the public has long been instilled in Penang, as evidenced by the Responsible Tourism campaign.

"The campaign informs all stakeholders about their roles in ensuring that tourism operations are done safely and efficiently," he said.

Aside from that, the "COVID-19 Safety Accreditation Program" was designed to emphasize the importance of safety and hygiene, two critical components in instilling long-term traveler confidence.

A total of 65 tourism sector players in Penang, including hotels, attractions, and retail malls, have received certification thus far.

As the state of Penang approaches herd immunity, the PETACE office has also started a vaccination program for trishaw peddlers and taxi drivers.
Around 300 people have benefited from the initiative.

As the tourism industry adjusts to the new normal and prepares to welcome visitors, these preparations and practices will be critical in accelerating the revival of the tourism economy.

Penang has the second-highest vaccination rate under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, with 86.2 percent of the population receiving immunizations as of March 9, 2022. With this proportion, Penang is the second most vaccinated state in Malaysia. The immunization rate has reached a satisfactory level, allowing for the reopening of international crossings.

Penang is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, with two UNESCO-designated sites, the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and the recently recognized Penang Hill UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, quirky street art, legendary street food, 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest, and diverse natural landscapes of hills and beaches.

Visitors are invited to explore the state's equally excellent hidden holiday secrets on the island and in Seberang Perai, according to Yeoh.

During the "Experience Penang" campaign, brochures on the "Other Side of the Island, Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau" and the "Opposite Side of the Island, Seberang Perai" were launched in Kuala Lumpur to assist visitors in experiencing everything the state has to offer.

This is following Penang's goal of becoming a premier, sustainable, and diverse tourism destination, as defined in the Penang Tourism Master Plan and the Penang2030 vision to develop a wide range of high-quality tourism products on the island and the mainland.

"Of course, a trip to Penang isn't complete without visiting two UNESCO-designated sites, in addition to the city's famous street food." The George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and the newly recognized Penang Hill UNESCO Biosphere Reserve are the only two UNESCO sites on the peninsula.

"Best of all, because of the city's proximity to the hills, one may enjoy a morning trek through Penang Hill's ancient rainforest and spend the rest of the day taking in the old-world charm of George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site," Yeoh added.

Penang was named one of CNN Travel's 22 greatest places to visit in 2022, The Times of India named George Town, Penang as one of Asia's best UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and International Living placed Penang third among "The 15 Best Islands in the World to Retire On in 2021."

Mr. Ooi Chok Yan, the Chief Executive Officer of Penang Global Tourism, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Penang), Tourism Malaysia (Northern region), Malaysia Airport Berhad (MAHB), Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang Chapter (MAH-P), Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA), Association of Tourism Attractions Penang (ATAP), Penang Tourist Guides Association (PTGA), Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air


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