GEORGE TOWN: Penang appears to have regained its throne as a favourite tourist destination this Raya week with all its hotspots packed.

There were crowds at popular joints such as the famous cendol stall off Penang Road, which had a queue of up to 70 people at any given time yesterday.

Indonesian student Satputri Parinata Isywari, 20, was seen patiently lining up with her friends to get a taste of the sweet treat.

“We have been waiting for half an hour but it’s going to be worth it,” she said.

“We tried the cendol once before Ramadan and it was delightful, so here we are again – we’ll get a few packs for our friends too.”

Administration officer M. Asthaletchumi, 24, said she was willing to wait for her cendol fix as this was her only day in Penang.

“I am from Kuala Lumpur and we are here on a day trip. I don’t mind waiting in line for the popular cendol,” she added.

Other places like the beaches in Batu Ferringhi, Penang Botanic Gardens, Penang Hill and the heritage enclave also saw an influx of visitors who took advantage of the Labour Day and Raya break.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chapter chairman Tony Goh said occupancy had picked up, especially last Sunday and Monday.

“All hotels easily hit 80% occupancy rate.

“The beach hotels are definitely booked to capacity. If they can handle 100% occupancy, they will surely allow it,” he said.

Goh said some hotels were still facing manpower issues.

“They have rooms but are shorthanded.

“Some of them redeployed their staff from other departments to help with housekeeping,” he said.