GEORGE TOWN – A non-governmental organisation has urged the Penang government to tap the vast potential of bungalows on Penang Hill, as part of efforts to revive the tourism sector under the new normal.
Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) advisor Yan Lee said some of the bungalows were listed under the UNESCO World Heritage while many others are similarly rich in history as they are more than 100 years old.
He said the Penang Hill bungalows could be promoted as more eco-friendly homestay units if they were properly renovated and refurbished.
“If (renovation and development) done properly, it could potentially attract high-end tourists in the long run,” he told a press conference here today.
According to the Penang Hill Corporation, there are 52 bungalows on the popular hill resort.
He asked if there was a dedicated technical review panel (TRP) committee to process and approve renovation works for bungalows on Penang Hill.
“According to our source from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), there are applications from five bungalows submitted to MBPP requesting for renovation,” he said.
He said the TRP committee is essential as it is not only needed to preserve the heritage of Penang Hill bungalows but also to watch over and protect the Penang Hill biosphere reserve.
“If there is no such committee, they should form one as soon as possible to preserve and protect the whole Penang Hill biosphere from any development that may harm or destroy it,” he added.
Penang Hill, one of the state’s leading tourist attractions, received over one million local and international tourists annually before travel worldwide was severely restricted by the outbreak of COVID-19 early last year.