Penang has begun to re-orient itself as a heritage tourism destination, especially since the addition of Georgetown’s historic center to the UNESCO World Heritage List two years ago.

Traditionally promoted as a beach resort, Penang has unique and more significant cultural attractions. Investors have only just begun to understand their potential. Recent private sector initiatives have seen the restoration of Georgetown’s pre-war buildings and, together with the Malasyia My Second Home campaign, have led to the area’s reinvigoration. 164 pre-war properties changed hands in the first half of 2009 alone, compared to a total of 120 in the whole year of 2008.

Many formerly neglected shophouses are now boutique apartments, cafes, and art galleries. Continued promotion of Penang’s historic and cultural assets to tourists and potential businesses would be a great benefit to the local economy.

article & source: Business Times (opinion piece)