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Tourists continue to throng Penang, traffic under control

GEORGE TOWN: Tourists continue to swarm Penang in the last two days before school resumes tomorrow, but traffic was quite smooth along the roads leading to the city with vehicles moving at a slow and steady pace.

State Traffic and Public Order Department chief Supt Zafri Zolkapli said despite the huge crowd, the traffic flow was under control and the situation manageable.

“There are no heavy traffic jams in most parts of Penang and everything is under control so far,” he said yesterday.

Supt Zafri, however, reminded motorists to remain vigilant while on the road and to be a responsible road user.

“Motorists should park their vehicles at designated spots and not park them haphazardly to avoid congestion, especially near tourist attractions,” he said.

Observation by The Star revealed that there was a significant number of vehicles in the city, especially along Penang Road, Transfer Road and the Esplanade.

Some of the popular nasi kandar outlets were quite packed with holidaymakers and Chew Jetty also saw lots of people visiting the wooden stilt houses.

On the Penang mainland, traffic was slow for a while along the North-South Expressway due to a stalled car at the 139.6th kilometre.

Meanwhile, there is an air of positivity for the tourism industry in Penang with news that some 4,000 foreign tourists are expected to arrive on a cruise ship next month.

Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said the tourists would be arriving on board the Royal Caribbean’s vessel Spectrum of the Seas from Singapore on July 2.

“The cruise ship will make a stop at Port Klang first before coming to Penang,” he said.

Earlier in his Facebook post, Tan described the arrival of the cruise ship as good news for the tourism and service industry in the state.

The Spectrum of the Seas was originally scheduled to arrive in Penang on June 18 but could not anchor at the port due to several issues with the Immigration Department.

The matter has, however, been sorted out and PPC is all geared up to welcome the cruise ship arrivals.

Since March 18, 2020, following the implementation of the movement control order by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were no international cruise ships anchored in Penang.

International tourists have been allowed into the country since April 1; however, only by air or overland travel.