Ipoh City Council’s Plans For VPY 2012

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When Visit Perak Year was announced by State tourism chairman, Dato’ Hamidah Othman and reported in the July 16 issue of Ipoh Echo, she said that locals must think Tourism and do Tourism. “Visit Perak Year 2012 will involve the whole state,” stressed Hamidah. “We need to create awareness throughout the state and have the local residents as well as local councils to participate.” So Ipoh Echo set out to investigate exactly what plans have been made by Ipoh city Council in anticipation of VPY 2012.

Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim

Mayor Serious about Visit Perak Year 2012

At the last full Board Meeting of Ipoh City Council on August 26, Ipoh Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim stated it was serious about getting ready for Visit Perak year 2012. In this regard, he recently returned from a visit to Xiamen, Fujian and Shenyang China as part of a Ministry of Tourism’s “Sales Mission to China” delegation led by Tourism Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. One of the products that Roshidi promoted about Ipoh was its food as part of Tourism Malaysia’s “Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia” programme.

Roshidi also announced that the Tourism Ministry had provided Ipoh City Council a sum of RM3.8 million to upgrade its tourism related facilities around town though most of it was focused around Old Town specifically along the heritage trail as per Map 1.

Railway Station Park

The park at the Railway Station which is the start of the Heritage Trail has been proposed to be given a facelift by re-landscaping the garden area. The existing water fountain at the garden, which hasn’t been working for a long time, will be upgraded. It was proposed that it be replaced with a musical fountain, but the decision is still pending.

The water fountain located in the garden fronting the Railway Station has not been working for years

Birch Memorial

The garden where the Birch Memorial is located has been proposed to be extended to the Old Post Office Building currently being repaired by Jabatan Warisan Negara. The food stalls collectively named “Medan Selera Dato Sagor” will be relocated to the area closer to the elevated car park. The elevated car park, which was the “First Elevated Car Park” in the country” will not be touched.

When the Old Post Office upgrade is completed together with the extended Birch Memorial garden, the road stretching from the Railway Station and Town Hall right down to the steps of Sheik Adam Lane after the Birch Memorial, will be an interesting gallery of history.

Panglima (Concubine) Lane

The plan for Concubine Lane was to upgrade the lane with granite cobblestones and install decorative lighting along the lane. Work was scheduled to start this month but due to the collapse of two shop lots in the lane earlier this month, work has been postponed pending a safety study by JKR.

The Heritage Trail logo will be imprinted on the upgraded sidewalks

Heritage Trail Upgrade

The sidewalk of the Heritage Trail has been proposed for an upgrade to “imprint tiles”. This will be for the entire length per Heritage Trail Map 1. The sidewalk tiles will have a Heritage Trail logo imprinted at regular intervals. Each Heritage building along the trail will have its own plaque describing its history similar to the Heritage Map. The purpose for these upgrades is to enable visitors to walk the trail without the map.

Medan Kidd Upgrade

The MBI food stalls located at Medan Kidd will be upgraded. Currently the stalls offer only food. The plan after the upgrade is to introduce a touristy environment with souvenir shops as well as food.

Relaxing Rules for Budget Hotels

Roshidi stated that City Council is considering relaxing the rules for budget hotels in Old Town specifically for the number of car parks required per budget hotel. Old Town is within walking distance of Ipoh Central Bus Station and the Railway Station. His rationale is based on visitors arriving by train and bus who don’t drive and therefore will not require a car park.

Roshidi also stated that an investor was committed to converting the 3 storey SPH De Silva Heritage Building, located in the centre of the Heritage Trail, into a budget cum boutique hotel.

Upgrading Water Fountains

Ipoh City Council will be upgrading three water fountains. One will be a musical fountain while two more will be upgraded with coloured lights. The fountains identified are at the Railway Station garden, Dataran MBI and Jalan Sultan Yussuf circus beside the Menteri Besar’s residence.

Hotels and Accommodation

Currently there are six 3- and 4-star hotels in Ipoh while there are 71 under 3-star hotels with a total room capacity of 2,591 rooms. Before the end of this year three more 3- and 4-star hotels will begin operations. These include MH Hotel along Tasek Road and Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites among the three.

Upgrades for Roundabouts

The roundabouts at Anderson Road, Silibin, Kampar Road (next to MGS School) and at Jalan Raja DiHilir have been identified for upgrading.

Entry Point Upgrades

The entry points into Ipoh at Simpang Pulai, Kuala Kangsar Road (next to Wing Onn Garden) and at Lahat-Lumut Highway have been identified for upgrading with a suggestion from the Menteri Besar that the first visual be a pleasant one.

Clean Eateries

Tourism also involves a clean and healthy environment. City Hall has identified 1,500 eateries in Ipoh. Clean eateries that meet MBI’s cleanliness standards are issued a Grade A certificate. Since the start of the grading exercise over a year ago, close to 10% of eateries have obtained the A certification. City Hall does not issue Grade B and C certificates.

Clean Drains

City Hall is currently planning to outsource its drain cleaning services.

If all the above initiatives are taken by City Council and conscientiously carried out, hopefully the rest of the stake holders and industry players will join in and are gearing up for VPY 2012. And may Perak achieve the ambitious target for three million tourist arrivals under its Visit Perak Year 2012. That should bring in much appreciated revenue to the State.

6 thoughts on “Ipoh City Council’s Plans For VPY 2012

  1. We should be thinking about the fundamentals of transport and cleanliness for tourists. Not all tourists come in cars. There are not enough clean and nice taxis either. The electric trains link KL to Ipoh but the station hotel is not even operational, nor the bar and other vacant spaces in the majestic train station in the heritage enclave of Ipoh.

    Are the people of Ipoh sufficiently involved to make VPY a success. Hardly.

  2. Please also look into keeping crime rates low. I have to keep reminding my visiting lady friends not to carry bags or at least be extra careful and alert at all times, avoid lanes and alleys etc.

  3. Its October 2011 Datuk / YB Dato’, and I hope your upgrading works can fisnish in December 2011. So far, nothing is happening, what’s up?? I have my customers bought a flight tickets from London in March 2011 and never heard of VPY 2012. All arrangement has been made to Sipadan. So I guess he will miss the boat for visit Perak year this time, try again.

  4. Just hoping these upgrades doesn’t brake to a stop when VPY 2012 is over…and I agree with 1Manusia, what about improving Ipoh’s public transport?

  5. Great news! May I suggest infusing some community art eg printing Datuk Lat’s cartoon and famous Ipoh food on giant size boards and put them on walls around Old town, as in Georgetown’s street art.

  6. Nothing is mentioned about local transportation ie. bus and taxi where waiting time for bus is horrendous and taxis not up to standard. What are the tourist going to rely on, their own 2 feet?

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