Rebranding a state symbol | The star

SOME 140 pedicab drivers in Penang received their second dose of the vaccine, paving the way for the state to embark on a long-term rebranding strategy for one of the symbols of the state.

State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee Chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said trishaw drivers were vaccinated at a one-stop vaccination center in Dewan Sri Pinang, George Town.

“We gave them licenses and disinfected their rickshaws.

“They also received medical examinations and haircuts as well as food.

“My office is developing a series of measures to rebrand Penang’s iconic trishaw cyclists.

“We want to make sure they embrace post-pandemic tourism trends with the right skills.

“This vaccination initiative is part of our long-term plan which aligns with the state’s responsible tourism campaign that has been launched to position Penang as a responsible destination for all visitors,” Yeoh said in a recent communicated.

Yeoh stressed that the state’s tourism sector will place more emphasis on authentic and unique experiences in the future, with strict adherence to safety and health protocol.

“A fully vaccinated pedicab community is essential to gain the trust of travelers.

“We want them to know that they can visit the heritage enclave of George Town safely and with confidence,” he added.

Yeoh expects demand for pedicab services to increase when the borders reopen, as trishaw drivers are part of the city’s heritage fabric, having dominated Penang’s transportation system in the 1950s.

“Experiential tourism should be a trend in the future,” Yeoh said.

“We anticipate that tourists will want to seek out the authenticity of Penang’s heritage with immersive cultural experiences, especially when George Town is a Unesco World Heritage Site.”

Yeoh’s office is working closely with tourism stakeholders in the state to restart the tourism landscape and attract travelers when the pandemic recedes.

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