It has been 11 years since George Town was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, and its tourism industry has since then flourished beyond imagination. No longer is the inner city a ghost town come sundown – the streets are alive with activities; shophouses are shiny and business is brisk.
Yet, some are questioning: how can we ensure tourism continues to grow, but at the same time not go the way of, say, Venice, where tourists outnumber locals?
(Then again, Venice’s population stands at 50,000. The tourists? A whopping 30 million a year – almost as high as Malaysia’s entire population.1)
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