TSAM partners PETACE to boost Penang’s tourism

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by TMR FILE

TRAVEL Safe Alliance Malaysia (TSAM) has partnered with the Penang State Executive Council Office for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) to attract tourists with the aim of economic recovery while prioritising safety and hygiene.

This also involves four major players in the tourism, business events and the airline industry namely the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) and the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).

PETACE chairman Yeoh Soon Hin assured that the Penang Accreditation System’s complement with TSAM’s travel solution certified by Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia will raise the travel safety benchmark in Malaysia.

“This provides solid assurance to travellers that the Penang government puts travel safety topmost on its agenda and welcomes tourists to its shores for peace-of-mind holidays.

“Also, the Penang Responsible Tourism campaign that was unveiled in July last year is to remind all parties of their respective roles while partaking in travel activities,” he said in a recent statement.

Penang was the first to introduce this approach to secure a safer travel bubble with frequent updates according to the guidelines by the National Security Council.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang pointed out that TSAM would provide a competitive edge for the country’s tourism industry. “TSAM will play a key role in promoting Malaysia as a travel-safe destination since travel safety and hygiene are now the main concern for worldwide travellers.

“It will set the bar in first-to-last-mile travel standards, and accredited Malaysian tourism stakeholders will definitely have a keener competitive edge when it comes to competing for market share in various key source markets,” he said.

Additionally, MAH president Datuk N Subramaniam commended the hygiene practice established by hoteliers.

“MAH first launched the Clean & Safe Malaysia hygiene and safety certification for hotels back in July 2020, and has now become the benchmark of hotel safety standards as well as a key component in TSAM.

“The endorsement by the Penang government is a significant step forward to further boost travellers’ confidence for the impending tourism recovery,” he said in the same statement.

Meanwhile, MACEOS president Francis Teo felt that it was necessary to implement consistent safety standards industry-wide to strengthen the country’s tourism industry.

“TSAM looks forward to seeing a wider acceptance and implementation of its certification programme among the island’s tourism industry players.

“This is especially urgent in light of the launch of new flights into Penang from Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Kuching (Sarawak) from Dec 1, 2021.”

MAG Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail agreed that the collaboration was in line with MAG’s corporate mission to provide a safe travel experience.

“As the national carrier, we will continue to be the flag bearer in providing a seamless, safe and hygienic travel experience for business and leisure travellers, supported by our sister airlines Firefly and MASwings.

“This is underpinned by our seven-star rating for Covid-19 health and safety measures by Airlines Ratings, consisting of stringent safety initiatives and procedures so our passengers can travel with peace of mind.

“Safety and security are an integral part of MAG’s DNA and way of doing business. As a responsible organisation, we recently completed a detailed audit for our subsidiaries with the Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia to ensure that we not only meet the standards of health within the organisation but also certify our efforts in keeping our customers safe,” he said.

TSAM welcomed tourism industry players to subscribe to its certification programme endorsed by PETACE to ensure travel safety during the year-end holiday season.