Agents say tour reroutes minimal as Penang recovers from floods

Flooding at George Town

After a 17-hour downpour that started on Saturday noon led to deadly floods in Penang and changes to tour programmes, tourism stakeholders are now looking forward to returning to business as usual.

Diethelm Travel Malaysia managing director, Manfred Kurz, said the company had cancelled tours to Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill since Sunday, and offered alternative programmes in areas not affected such as Tropical Spice Gardens.

Flooding at George Town

“We restarted city tours to George Town on Tuesday as things are getting back to normal. We kept our agents overseas and clients already on roundtrips in Malaysia updated of the situation.”

At Luxury Tours Malaysia, clients who made bookings to Penang were given the option to change their booking to any other destination within Malaysia without cancellation charge, even if it is a last minute request, according to senior manager Arokia Das.

He added: “Penang Island is big enough for us to adjust the tours accordingly. However, most of the tours in the itinerary were not affected except for Little India and the surrounding area in George Town, which we have replaced with a trip to the Penang Snake Temple.”

A Aruldas, managing director of Tourland Travel, an inbound agency strong in the Indian market, said: “The floods are temporary and we continue to take forward bookings to Penang.”

The company however advises FIT travellers intending to visit Penang of the possibility that departing flights out of Penang might get delayed, in which case there is a possibility they might miss their connecting flight to India from Kuala Lumpur.

Albert Lafuente, director of sales & marketing at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort, said the floods have generally subsided and that the storm had not caused major disruptions in Penang’s tourist hotspots.

He said both properties were running with over 80 per cent occupancy over the next few days until the weekend.

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