GEORGE TOWN: Tourism Malaysia has urged local authorities as well as the private sector to turn vacant buildings with historical value into tourist attractions such as museums.
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said that it was a waste to let such buildings to be destroyed or abandoned.
“Many of the tourists who come to Malaysia want to experience culture and, at the same time, enjoy the scenery. Not only that, currently, tourists and the local people love to visit interactive museums as well as 3-Dimension museums.
“Don’t waste available space, turn it into something interesting,” he said at a press conference after launching the Odeon trick art cafe in Jalan Penang here today.
In the 70s and 80s, Odeon was one of the famous cinema halls in the state and, as time passed, it became outdated and was now being transformed into a cafe that promotes local heritage values at a cost of about RM5 million.
“Other places should take Odeon as an example, whereby an old empty space is being remodified to fit the current situation. Not only tourists will like it but locals will also benefit from it,” he said.
Mirza also said that other states, especially Selangor, Melaka and Johor, should also have their own 3D museums as a tourist attraction.
In Penang, there are more than 40 interactive museums that offer all kinds of experience to the people and about 25 of them had been vouched for by the local tourism department as a place of interest.
Meanwhile, Mirza said that as of August this year, more than 16 million tourists from around the globe had chosen Malaysia as their tourism destination, with an increase of 4.5 per cent in the same duration last year.
“Our main tourist attractions are the islands and beaches and, currently, the demand for eco-tourism is on the rise. There are still many locations that can be promoted due to their beauty and local heritage,” he said. — Bernama