SEBERANG Prai, which has long been treated as a ‘stepchild’ in tourism promotions in Penang, will soon have new tourism products to give the mainland a major economic boost.
A host of tourist destinations and related activities have been identified for inclusion in the state’s tourism map.
According to the North Seberang Prai Local Plan 2020 Draft, an Archeo-Tourism Trail, Heritage Trail and Beach Recreation Trail would be developed in the district in the next eight years.
The Archeo-Tourism Trail would encompass an old fort at Kota Kuala Muda, an archaeology complex in Sungai Emas, the Langkasuka ruins in Kota Aur, an early archaeology site in Guar Kepah, a candi (temple) in Permatang Pasir, the Merdeka Bridge-cum-fort in Bumbung Lima and a border cornerstone in Ekor Kucing.
The Heritage Trail would start from the Butterworth railway station through the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal, a traditional blacksmith shop in Permatang Benuan, the Capal Jago chapal maker’s shop in Kepala Batas and ends at the whispering market in the Kuala Muda fishing village.
The Beach Recreation Trail would cover the Pantai Bersih beach, Bagan Ajam beach, Pantai Teluk Molek (Robina Park) beach, Teluk Air Tawar recreation park, Kuala Bekah beach, Pantai Penaga, Sungai Muda sanctuary park, Pantai Kamloon recreation park, Bertam Vision Park, Padang Cempedak recreation park and Air Hitam Dalam recreation park.
Over in central Seberang Prai, several tourism products have been outlined in the Central Seberang Prai Local Plan 2020 Draft.
In Seberang Jaya, there are proposals to upgrade the Penang Bird Park and the Seberang Jaya expo site apart from preserving heritage buildings in Kg Dock.
A rural homestay project has been proposed in Sama Gagah, Permatang Pauh, while an education-based tourism with MICE facilities would be promoted in Jalan Permatang Batu, Prai.
Juru would feature the Kg Sungai Semilang-Dataran Semilang-Pulau Aman-Pulau Gedung tourism trail, homestay programmes in Kampung Juru, recreational activities at the Bukit Juru recreational forest and visits to the Permanent Food Production Park.
Juru would also see the preservation of Masjid Lama Kampung Bukit Kechil, the upgrading of facilities at the Dataran Semilang seafood restaurants and the construction of a tourism-based neighbourhood centre in Kampung Bagan Nyior.
Facilities at the Highway Auto-City Juru commercial centre would also be upgraded.
In Kubang Semang, Penanti, an old musalla (surau) would be preserved, while the Madrasah Manabi’ululum Kubang Ulu would be upgraded to an international centre for Islamic studies.
The homestay programmes in the Mengkuang Titi traditional village and Kampung Kubang Semang would also be further enhanced.
Eco-tourism facilities would be intensified at the Mengkuang Dam, while the Cherok Tok Kun recreation forest park would be upgraded with more infrastructure facilities.
Bukit Mertajam town would be generally promoted as a shopping haven, while the old buildings there would be retained for aesthetic and heritage value.
The people can view both local plan drafts which are currently on public display, since March 15, until April 12.
They are available at the MPSP headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, the north and central Seberang Prai district offices, and the Town and Country Planning Department office at Level 57, Komtar, in George Town.
The exhibition is open from 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays.