GEORGE TOWN, Sept 26 — The number of visitors to Penang Hill including many returnees demonstrates that a US newspaper was wrong to rank the Penang attraction ninth in its list of top 100 tourist traps in the world, said state exco Wong Hon Wai today.
The tourism and creative economy committee chairman said Penang Hill has recorded a total 47 million visitors since 1923, which translated to more than a million visitors each year.
“Many of them are returning visitors which shows that they are attracted to the charm of Penang Hill as one of the major attractions in Penang,” he said in a statement today.
He said the number of visitors speaks for itself to prove that it is not a tourist trap as claimed by the newspaper.
Wong was responding to an article published in USA Today on August 24 with a list of top 100 tourist traps in the world that included places such as Four Corners Monument in Arizona, Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts, and Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Tennessee.
In the list, Penang Hill was the only Malaysian tourist destination listed and ranked ninth.
Penang Hill was also ranked 14th in the most overrated attractions worldwide list.
Wong said the review conducted by USA Today was limited to only the views of English speakers.
“The data collection is monolingual and without other major languages that is used in the region such as Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil, Arabic, and others,” he said.
He said there were only about two dozen bad reviews and the article did not take into consideration the good reviews that outnumber the negative ones.
“Having said that, the Penang state government will always look for improvement and a new cable car project is already in the pipeline,” he said.
He said the cable car will give tourists a new experience in future.