By: Aida Aziz
IPOH: The geographical conditions and tourist attractions in the city of Ipoh are among the reasons why it has become the ideal location for an internationally renowned cafe to establish its presence here.
Furthermore, its strategic position in the middle of the northern and southern regions, such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, also contributes to attracting visitors.
Ipoh Mayor, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, stated that the selection of Ipoh as the location for the fifth branch of Hard Rock Cafe, scheduled to open in December, is indeed a welcome development, especially during the Visit Ipoh 2023 campaign.
“Our plan is to make Ipoh the country’s main tourist city by 2025. One of our strategies is to attract international brands to operate in this state.
“Ipoh is not just a state capital but a regional city as well. We aim to develop this area as an eco-tourism and arts-based tourism destination.
“Previously, the Federal Government, through the National Planning Council, approved the designation of Ipoh as a regional city covering the western part of Pahang (Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lipis) and one district in Gua Musang,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked by reporters about the suitability of opening a Hard Rock Cafe in Ipoh, despite the city’s infrastructure still being below its maximum potential, he said that anything is possible.
“Everything depends on marketing. For example, let’s consider why people spend money to travel to Africa, where the infrastructure is just average.
“I have been to a city in Cameroon, Africa. There is not much to see there, but the number of tourists visiting the area is higher from Malaysia. It’s not about infrastructure, but in tourism, it’s about how you sell your products.
“Our target audience includes not only local visitors but also international tourists. If we talk about bikers, perhaps they will come from Thailand and Singapore,” he said.
He made these statements to reporters during a media briefing after officiating the Friendly Media Reception and Soft Launch of Hard Rock Cafe Ipoh at Tasik Cermin on Friday.
Also, present was Malcolm Chao, Vice President of the Asia Pacific Region for Hard Rock Cafe International.
In addition, Malcolm mentioned that the opening of Hard Rock Cafe in Ipoh is well-suited to its location.
Furthermore, he stated that apart from the upcoming opening in Ipoh in December, the cafe already has branches in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, and Johor Bahru.
“The Rock Shop at Palo 101, located on Jalan Sultan Iskandar, will be the first phase of the opening of Hard Rock Cafe Ipoh on June 16, but the cafe itself will open in December this year.
“It is now time to attract more international tourists to visit Ipoh. There are many things to explore here in this appealing tourist destination,” he said.