Penang is asking the federal government to consider including the Penang International Airport (PIA) in the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangement between Malaysia and Indonesia.
State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the earlier announcement on the arrangements for the Malaysian side only involved KLIA.
“In the VTL arrangement, Indonesia listed (airports) in Bali and Jakarta, and the arrival of visitors from Indonesia is important in creating a multiplier effect on the economy of the state (Penang) and the country as a whole.
“If PIA is given the same opportunity as KLIA, I’m sure it will have a good economic impact on the entire chain of supply such as accommodation, food and beverages, logistics, retail, tourism and transportation sector for the northern states of the peninsula,” he said in a statement today.
It was reported that Malaysia and Indonesia had agreed to implement a travel corridor between the two countries through VTL by air early next year.
Yeoh said based on PIA’s international tourist arrivals chart from 2015 to 2020, Indonesia had always been in the lead. He said this should be among the factors considered by the federal government in the Malaysia-Indonesia VTL arrangement.
He said the Penang Immigration Department’s statistics also showed that PIA had recorded 275,933 tourist arrivals from Indonesia in 2019; 245,920 in 2018; 279,173 in 2017; 264,546 in 2016; and 268,892 in 2015.
“PIA has always been one of the important airports in Southeast Asia welcoming tourists from all over the world,” he added.