Penang's listing as a UNESCO Heritage site in 2008, had given the island a big boost by attracting international tourists and is confident of surpassing last year's record of 9.5 million international and domestic visitors to the island state, said its exco for Tourism Development and Culture, Law Heng Kiang.
"Our tourism industry is upbeat and we are eager to welcome visitors and ensure they enjoyed their stay and see the best of Penang," he said at a gathering of Australian travel agents, tour operators and media here Sunday.
He said Penang had a lot to offer, including its international festivals and competitions, including the Dragon Boat Festival, the Penang Bridge marathon and the Chingay competition.
"The state's cultural heritage and wonderful cuisine has also attracted tourists to the state. The island's hotels are fully booked during school holidays as well as during durian season.
But this would be meaningless if the heritage centres and not maintained from time to ensure its sustainability.