Previously, we shared how the American daily newspaper USA Today named Penang Hill as Asia’s worst tourist trap and the continent’s third most overrated destination in an article published on 24 August.
Now, the tourist destination’s management, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC), has released a statement responding to the matter, refuting the claims made by the American publication.
Addressing USA Today’s “Top 100 Biggest Tourist Traps Worldwide” article and WORLD OF BUZZ’s article reporting on the daily newspaper’s claims, PHC said that the methodology used by USA Today is,
“grossly inaccurately and flawed”.
The statement further elaborated that the publication’s analysis was based solely on reviews from a single platform and doesn’t capture the majority with positive experience on the hill.
PHC added that some of the mentioned negative reviews picked by USA Today in July 2023 were stated over 5 years ago and Penang Hill welcomed over 5 million visitors during the same period.
The statement asserted,
“The article relied on reviews from only one source, which is the Google reviews platform and from a pool of 3,737 reviews (until July 2023). As per the authors, only 21 out of 3,737 reviews think it is a tourist trap (0.56%) and 6 out of 3,737 reviews (0.16%) said it’s overrated.”
“Please note that it is a small sample size and an inaccurate representation of 3,737 over 5 million visitors to Penang Hill during the 5-year period of the review.”
PHC stressed that while it respects the opinions of individual visitors and open to criticism, it is crucial to view such assessments in the context of Penang Hill’s wider visitor base, as well as to stay objective, unbiased and accurate.
Besides that, PHC also clarified that like any popular tourist destinations worldwide, queues at Penang Hill will inevitably be long during school holidays, popular weekends and public holidays. Accordingly, the corporation advises visitors to come early to avoid the queues and plan their trips in advance to maximise their experience.
As for pricing, PHC said that it takes pride in providing an affordable yet enriching experience for both local and international visitors, claiming that the funicular ticket price is one of the most affordable in the region.
Nevertheless, PHC asserted that there are always room for improvements and toward that end, it is committed to constantly upgrading Penang Hill’s amenities and facilities.
So, what do you guys think of PHC’s statement? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.