Monday, April 25, 2011

Missing the Point.....

I lifted this article from the Star 26/4/11:

GEORGE TOWN: A honeymooning couple from Saudi Arabia was among some 2,000 tourists and locals who boarded the Penang Hill funicular train, which resumed operations after a lapse of 14 months.

Alaa Abduallae, 30, and Wafaa Ali, 23, were thrilled to take the 10-minute ride up the hill.
“However, the train was going too fast for us to snap any good photographs,” Alaa said.
The train will run for charity till April 30. The return fare for the charity ride is RM10 for adults. It is free for children aged 12 and below.

The proceeds will go to the Penang Welfare Department to help underprivileged people identified by the state government.
The service started at 6.30am yesterday.
Among those who tried it was a group of 37 Year Five students and three teachers of SK Pulai in Baling.
Their counselling teacher Khaizuran Isa said they made the trip to give students an opportunity to ride on the train.
“We want to expose them to new things and let them learn about tourist spots,” she said.
Penangites Les Leong and Jane Ooi, both in their 30s, also brought their six-year-old twin sons to enjoy the train ride to a friend's birthday party on Penang Hill.
This is their second time on the train. They were very excited and said that the ride was faster than the previous tram,” Ooi said.

From May 1, the return fare for Malaysians will be RM8 for adults (below 55 years) and RM4 for children (aged three to 12).
Senior citizens (aged 55 and above) and Malaysian students will enjoy a reduced rate of RM4.
For foreigners, the return fare is RM30 (for adults) and RM15 (for children aged three to 12).
The revamped train service runs from 6.30am to 9.30pm daily.
The service was suspended since Feb 22 last year for the RM73mil upgrading project by the Tourism Ministry.
Penang Hill Corporation marketing and promotion division senior assistant manager Anne Goh said 1,500 people rode on the train from 6.30am till 4pm"

Now then, I've just got to highlight a couple of points that to me are a bit symptomatic of why the tourism industry in Malaysia is not as good as it could be...

1. Foreigners pay more than locals.-in this case,nearly 4 times as much!
This also happens at the KL Tower and all the National Parks...
Can you imagine a tourist attraction in the UK or USA charging tourists 4 times more than the locals...they'd never get away with it!
2.They don't really get it do the quote "the train was going too fast to take pictures"
A lot of fuss was made last year when the old,charming,creaky and dilapidated hill railway was replaced with a shiny and new train that would get people to the top of the hill faster than before.
The whole point of the slow train ride was that you enjoyed the view on the it just whizzes by.

UPDATE 10/6/11...and the "new and improved" service has broken-down 3 times in the last 5 weeks.....

1 comment:

  1. I maybe wrong but when I first arrived in 2000 there was no double pricing standard which was something that the PM at the time was proud of.

    The Langkawi cable car is another one which charges more for foreigners.