A new kind of energy fills Georgetown City of Penang Island these days. The elegant 19th century shop lots are buzzing with life and activities. New business trends related to heritage living style have sprung up everywhere around the city area.
There has been renewed business interest in the areas since the listing of Georgetown as a UNESCO world heritage site two and a half years ago. Both small time entrepreneurs and more established investors are putting cash in conservation projects. Old heritage houses and shop lots have been transformed into chic eateries, boutique hotels, and charming home stays.
A classic cafe example is ‘Kopi Cine’, which is located at Stewart Lane. This delightful cafe serves Penang style coffee as well as Italian cappuccino. ‘Amelie Cafe’ in Armenian Street is another heritage cafe investment, which serves local delights prepared from fresh market ingredients. The new generation of investors are not merely pumping funds into prime real estates, but have shown deep respect for heritage and culture.
The buffer zone area has also been livening up with the establishment of ‘Hotel Penaga’. This hotel is located in the surrounding areas of Hutton Lane, Transfer Road and Clarke Street, which is a pre-war terrace of fifteen shop units. It has been beautifully restored into a boutique hotel and maintains the character of the heritage zone, while meeting the highest modern expectations for visitors, who particularly wish to experience the heritage style of living accommodation.
Investing in the heritage city of Georgetown may seem like a good idea, but it is not a simple task. The dilapidated condition of many of Georgetown’s old shop houses call for restoration and renovation. Such costs are often double the cost of the initial purchase price of the dilapidated property. But luckily these factors have not discouraged investors, comprising local Penang citizens, Malaysians from other states, as well as foreigners, from investing in heritage estate developments.
Georgetown’s heritage listing has also proved to be a huge investment opportunity and a big boost to Penang’s economy. Penang is now globally recognized as a selected destination for tourist to visit. This has also upgraded the Penang’s status as a healthcare or medical care destination. More visitors from neighbouring countries are now coming to seek medical treatment in Penang. Medical tourism enabled many people to get the benefit of high quality medical treatment with more competitive cost in medical expenses, while going on a beautiful and tranquil vacation.
The cost of getting the treatment done elsewhere aboard has confirmed to be comparatively more expensive, whereas the same medical treatment cost in Penang can be much lower, by as much as 50% of the cost abroad. Patients can get the best possible treatment available in Penang. Penang medical professionals are highly efficient and well versed in English.
Penang may be small but is full of life, and have been voted as one of the top most livable place in the world.