The brand exemplifies the power of a homegrown brand in revolutionising the tourism industry.
ESCAPE Penang, a retro-eco adventure park located in Teluk Bahang, has yet again achieved a significant milestone. It secured a place among Asia’s top three amusement and water parks, as recognised by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2022 Best of the Best – Asia awards.
This prestigious recognition positions ESCAPE Penang ahead of entities in Hong Kong, Japan, and Dubai, making it the third highest-rated attraction in Asia’s Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. Notably, it is the only theme park in Malaysia with a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Datuk Sim Choo Kheng, the founder and executive chairman of Sim Leisure Group, expressed excitement over ESCAPE Penang’s achievement, considering it was once considered an underdog in the theme park and attractions industry.
During the award presentation ceremony, Penang’s Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow, presented the award to Sim, applauding the group for elevating both Penang’s and Malaysia’s tourism industry and expressing delight in seeing a Malaysian brand achieve such recognition while staying true to its ethos and philosophy.
With a track record of creating international theme park projects worldwide, including renowned attractions such as DreamWorks, the John Wick ride in MOTIONGATE ™️ Theme Park Dubai, Sea World Abu Dhabi, and recently Six Flags in Saudi Arabia, the group’s standing in the industry is unrivalled.
The brand, rooted in its desire to reconnect visitors with nature and childhood experiences, has grown from its humble beginnings in Penang and is set to establish its presence across the Asia Pacific and the Middle East, in addition to two new ESCAPE parks in Ipoh (set to open in the final quarter of this year) and Cameron Highlands.
The annual Travellers’ Choice awards on TripAdvisor allow real travellers to shape the rankings based on their reviews and opinions. ESCAPE Penang has emerged as a standout, captivating visitors with its innovative and creative offerings. This recognition attests to their ability to deliver a distinctive and unforgettable experience.
To transform ESCAPE Penang into an experiential destination, the park has recently completed the construction of Base Camp, in line with the brand’s vision. The aim is to not just make ESCAPE Penang a destination but an immersive and experiential one. The Base Camp is also Malaysia’s first pet-friendly travel destination, adding to the allure of ESCAPE Penang’s offerings.
In addition to the award ceremony, guests were treated to an exclusive tour of ESCAPE Penang’s Base Camp. Set amidst 2 acres of pristine wilderness, the Base Camp exemplifies ESCAPE’s mission to foster a deep appreciation for the great outdoors. Equipped with modern comforts such as shower facilities and reliable Wi-Fi access, the camping site offers visitors a safe and comfortable way to embrace the wonders of nature.
TRP directed a question to Chow, seeking his insights on the effects of Penang’s ban on short-term rental accommodation in light of the growing global demand for such lodging.
Chow responded by highlighting the abundance of alternative lodging options available in Penang, including hotels, homestays, and boutique hotels in the heritage zone, as well as a plethora of serviced apartments catering to tourists. He expressed hope that visitors would have a delightful experience while adhering to the prevailing rules, guidelines, and restrictions — urging them to favour the mentioned types of accommodation.
Sim further contributed to the discussion by sharing his forward-looking perspective. He emphasised that the preferences of future tourists may shift away from traditional hotels, indicating a need to consider evolving trends and changing desires of travellers.
Sim drew a parallel to the emergence of Grab, which initially posed as a competitor to traditional taxi services but ultimately transformed the transportation industry. With a similarly progressive outlook, the group recognises the importance of staying attuned to the evolving landscape to meet the needs of future travellers effectively.
He also revealed exciting plans for ESCAPE Penang, including the introduction of a new obstacle course, low-impact development initiatives, a military assault course, and new team-building activities. Visitors can also look forward to attractions such as big swings and treehouses, further enhancing the adventure and excitement at ESCAPE Penang.
As ESCAPE Penang continues to evolve and expand, it undoubtedly has a bright future ahead — further solidifying Penang’s position as a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts.
This accolade not only places Penang and Malaysia on the world map but also solidifies ESCAPE Penang’s reputation as a leading adventure destination, exemplifying the power of a homegrown brand in revolutionising the tourism industry.
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