Penang Business Travel Leisure Guide |

- When you land at the airport, go to the Taxi counter to purchase the ticket for the taxi queue outside. It costs RM38 to go to the Georgetown area (Evergreen, Traders and G hotels)
- Taxis around Penang are pricey and they will not use the meter. It is pretty standard prices although some drivers may be open to negotiate if you agree to regular pick up. I usually take the hotel shuttle to office but have the same driver pick me up everyday from office at 5pm. It costs 30 ringgit to the Traders hotel from my office in Bayan Lepas industrial areal. One way from Georgetown hotels to Kulim industrial park is about 70 to 90 ringgit. If you are commuting to Kulim daily from a Georgetown hotel, you definitely want to make arrangements with a cabby rather than try to call a cab from office on the way home.
- During rush hour, expect to spend 30 min to/from island and mainland. The ride over the bridge and Kulim may run an hour.

All these hotels have shuttle service to offices in Bayan Lepas industrial park in the mornings.
- Equatorial Hotel, most expensive and most isolated of the hotels. This is a very old hotel and I have chosen not to stay here because it seems to be such an inconvenient place to stay so I will leave it for someone else to chat about.
- Trader’s Hotel, this use to be the old Shangri La hotel and although it is been remodeled, and still very much the same hotel. Plus: Good business hotel with a strong free internet connection, good variety for the free breakfast buffet, comfortable rooms with everything in working order, good grocery store located in the nearby Grand Plaza mall (basement). Minus: No decent restaurants nearby (good hawker stands on Lorong Baru, a 5-10 min walk from the hotel, closed on Wed.), there are some mediocre restaurants in the mall behind the hotel (there is a Starbucks in Prangin Mall behind the hotel)
- G Hotel, this is a fairly new hotel but the paint is a already fading in some of the rooms. This is a really popular hotel so it books up quickly. The real draw of this hotel is location right next to the upscale Gurney Plaza. They have made some improvements like bolstering their internet. Plus: Free breakfast and internet, they will give you a ocean view room if available and you ask for it, very nice gym overlooking the ocean, very stylish pool area. Minus: Not enough electrical plugs in the room, no clock, there is no phone on the desk where the cable connection is but you just need to move it yourself, dim lighting in the bathroom, some of the rooms have major plumbing problems (my carpet was soaked because of leaky plumbing; more than one room I stayed in had this problem) basically it seems like this hotel was put up in a hurry with little attention to quality control.
- Evergreen Hotel, Decent cheap hotel, 20 min walk (or 10 Ringitt taxi ride) from Gurney Plaza. Plus: free internet, good business rooms, nearby hotel has Starbucks and some decent restaurants (Nasi Kandar is very good). Minus: corporate rate would not get you an ocean view, breakfast is not free and was not very flavorful.

- Secret Recipe has great desserts but mediocre food, Sushi King has terrible Japanese food, Nasi Kandar has great flavorful curry, the Japanese restaurant at the G hotel is very authentic and tasty, the Food Loft in Gurney Plaza has a nice selection of international dishes (I recommend the salmon and snow fish in the American section), there is a Chili’s next to the G Hotel that has really good cheeseburgers (which is a treat after 3 weeks in Asia). There are a lot of places that have all you can eat seafood; many of the hotels do and so does a restaurant called Tao’s (great butterfish).
- My favorite hawker stand is located in downtown Georgetown on Lorong Baru. The best Char Koay Teow stand you can find in island. There are hawker stands everywhere in Georgetown, Bayan Lepas, Batu Ferringi, and almost every places you hang out in the island you can find any hawker food around.
- The satay beef and chicken from the hawker stand, near McDonalds, on Gurney Drive is a good choice for trying PG street food. Satay is charcoal grilled, bite sized, skewered meat served with peanut sauce. A meal of 20 skewers will cost $3

-Langkawi Coral reef snorkling is the best daytrip under $100. The package includes hotel pickup and a 2 hour high speed boat ride to and from an unforgettable underwater experience. The shaded snorkeling platform is located in the pristine waters of Pulau Payar, a few feet above one of world’s most spectacular coral gardens. Groupers, Barracuda, and parrotfish are some of the 100s of fish that school around the platform. The sea platform includes an underwater observatory, snorkeling equipment and diving facilities.

Keeping a Growing Presence for an Online Business Travel Franchise |

Online business travel is really popular these days. There are several businesses and travel agencies that have been started in the last few years. If you are considering putting up your own travel agency, you may think that you would not have difficulty because there are just too many people who are planning for or wanting to go on a trip.

What you might be missing on is that there are thousands of other people who have the same ideals and who have put up their own travel agency. Definitely, they will be catering to the same market you are targeting. So how do you keep, maintain, and grow a successful online business presence despite this?

The first step to keeping a successful online business travel is to set specific goals for yourself and your venture.

Goals are important for everyone. They give direction to an otherwise complex situation. They are the destination of every rough road. When you have goals to achieve, you would have something almost tangible to motivate you to work harder and better than you normally would. Therefore, you should make sure that you have a specific set of goals for your business to work on achieving.

Many people think that goals set for a business should be for the entire venture. However, as business experts agree, the goals should both be for you as the owners and for the venture itself. For example, if you would set as a goal for the business the success of its sales, you should also set for yourself as an objective your improvements in terms of decision-making. In a nutshell, you have to understand that setting goals for yourself and your business will enable you to achieve the best of results in terms of development and income.

The next step you should take is to research thoroughly. One of the best characteristics of a growing online business and a steady presence is its capability to outlast its competitors and find better offerings to its customers. If you have something new to offer to everyone, you would have an edge over the other online businesses within the industry. Definitely, you would attract more clients because you will not be perceived as boring or limited.

Now, this is something you would be able to do if you research thoroughly and constantly. When you research, you get to know more about the people who are interested to avail the services of an online business travel. You would be able to understand the needs and wants of your target market. Then, you would know what to offer them. Aside from that, you would be able to identify your direct competitors and what they can offer. Thus, you would be capable of developing your business enough to match or even to exceed what they can give.

Finally, you must be able to dedicate a significant part of your marketing campaigns to maintaining a good relationship with your existing clients. Several businesses make the mistake of engaging too much in marketing and promoting to attract new clients. They spend a lot looking for strategies and implementing campaigns that are designed to call on people who have not yet heard of the business and the products it offers. You may not find anything wrong about this because, technically, it is not at all erroneous. In fact, marketing for a new set of clients is a must-do for almost all businesses.

However, you must understand that the kinds of relationship you keep with your existing clients also matter. This is because your existing clients are your sure way to a sales income. They are the ones you can count on to keep on buying your products. Plus, they can definitely recommend you to their friends and relatives-thereby increasing your market reach. Therefore, you must be certain that your clients are happy with your services and products.

In the end, keeping an online business travel growing may not be that difficult. There are several ways to do that. You just have to keep your focus and make the best decisions there are to enable your business to stay afloat despite the worst of economic times. Doing your best may take a lot of time and effort but the rewards are extremely great.