Cycling will be the in thing for in-bound tourists to Ipoh if plans by Tourism Malaysia (Perak) materialise. In making this new form of touring a reality, a concerted effort by Tourism Malaysia was initiated recently with the concurrence of those in the tourism industry.
Over 200 participants, consisting of travel agents, officials and staff of the local tourism department and media representatives, assembled at the start point at Taman D.R. Seenivasagam on the morning of Saturday, July 6. Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim flagged them off. The 9-km ride took the riders along the venerated Ipoh heritage trail with stops at the railway station, Little India and the Perak Tourist Information Centre before ending at Taman D.R. Seenivasagam.
“Cycling is a new form of activity for nature-loving tourists. We see this happening in the developed countries. It’s a matter of time before it hits our shore,” said Datuk Azizan Noordin, the Deputy Director-General of Tourism Malaysia who was present along with Puan Norshamshida, Director of Tourism Malaysia (Perak). “Ipoh has plenty of historical buildings to show. Therefore, those in the tourism industry must prepare themselves for such an eventuality,” he remarked.
Perak Bike Ride, a tourist booklet produced by KRI Cycling Team, identifies some worthy cycling routes in the state. The booklet was launched by Dato’ Abdul Rahim Mat Ariff, Secretary of the Ipoh City Council at the end of the event. “Some 10,000 copies have been printed. The booklets will be distributed to all 22 tourism information centres in the country, including our office in Singapore,” Norshamshida told reporters.
Haziman Baharuddin, 25, a bona fide Ipohite was thrilled by the exposure. “It’s different seeing Ipoh on a two-wheeler. The experience is exhilarating,” he exclaimed. This may well be the beginning of a new vogue in tourism.