JOHOR BARU: The Johor City and Nature Tour Guide Association (JCNTGA) is urging the state government to rejuvenate historical buildings in the city as part of the tourism recovery plan.
Its chairman Abdul Rashid Narikkodan Mammod said Johor Baru had several historical buildings which when given more appeal, could draw more tourists.
He said the buildings included the old Johor Baru Railway Station that is linked to Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.
“The foot traffic here is high and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) can work with the Johor government on the best way to promote the old station,” he suggested.
The old railway station was closed down in 2011 and now houses the KTMB Museum for the southern region.
Abdul Rashid said Johor Street of Harmony, which encompassed Jalan Trus, Duke Avenue, Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim and Jalan Ungku Puan, could also do with some additions to draw visitors.
“The state government could set up a mini centre here to showcase our diverse culture and rich heritage.
“There are five landmarks along the way which can attract visitors, namely the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple, Masjid India Johor Baru, Sikh Gurdwara Sahib Temple, Johor Ancient Temple and the Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception.
“Jalan Dhoby and Bazar Karat can also be rejuvenated with cultural programmes and activities,” he said.
He added that these programmes could be implemented once the movement control order (MCO) was completely lifted, with standard operating procedures in place.
Abdul Rashid said educational and historical programmes as well as showcase of food and culture for visitors were other options.
“These programmes could be held at Muzium Tokoh and Kompleks Warisan Sultan Abu Bakar,” he said.
Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong said Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim, located at Bukit Timbalan in Johor Baru, was the perfect place to add more life and vitality.
“It towers over most buildings and is a majestic sight with its unique architecture.
“There is space here to add more attractions. The authorities could allow eateries, souvenir shops and perhaps even a mini museum to be set up here to add points of interest.
“Some landscaping with more greenery will be a nice touch as well,” he said, noting that it could become the focal point of attraction in the central business district.
“It already is a popular point and when rejuvenated, will draw even more people. This move will boost tourist arrivals and help in the tourism sector’s recovery,” he added.
Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim formerly housed Johor government’s state secretariat.
The building was constructed between 1936 and 1939.
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