KUALA TERENGGANU, June 1 — Terengganu’s latest icon — the drawbridge linking Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Nerus — is expected to change the trend of tourist arrivals to the state which has so far concentrated in the islands.
State Tourism, Culture and Communications Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said he was optimistic that the areas surrounding the bridge would become must-visit locations for tourists to feast their eyes the first drawbridge in Southeast Asia.
“We are also targeting many local visitors from Kelantan and Pahang to come to Kuala Terengganu to see the drawbridge. Even now, when the bridge has not yet been opened, many visitors from Kelantan come here just to look at it from afar,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama here.
The RM248 million-bridge spanning 638m which has two 16-storey towers is slated to be opened for trial for 15 days from Sunday (June 2) at 7 am.
Ariffin said his committee had also held discussions hotel operators and tourist agencies in Pulau Redang to provide various packages to bring visitors to the mainland.
“I’m confident they will be preparing packages to bring foreign tourists to the mainland to look at the drawbridge,” he said.
He said apart from that, the state was also working on enhancing the river cruise service in Sungai Terengganu to enable tourists to appreciate the beauty of the drawbridge.
“We have informed river cruise operators that the drawbridge will be the main attraction for their water transport service. Even now, the service has garnered an encouraging response.
“For example, the TTI River Cruise saw an increase in the number of passengers last year compared to the past two years. The same goes for the Payang Water Taxi service,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ariffin said the state government was working to improve the lighting in coastal areas and the Kuala Terengganu river such as at the Islamic Civilisation Park, the Sultan Mahmud Bridge and the area surrounding Pulau Duyung to allow those taking the river cruise to enjoy the view at night. — Bernama