Malaysia’s First Inner City Marina
The Malaysia Tourism Policy Study, 1992 noted that providing suitable facilities such as those available in Penang, Langkawi, Tioman and Pangkor helps in making longer stays in coastal areas and islands more attractive. The island of Penang, well known as the ‘pearl of the orient’ and is a well-received tourist destination with rich diversity of history, social mix, politics, economy as well as healthy environment and a vibrant daily way of life.
From the City’s earliest days, Georgetown waterfront in Penang Island has been an important centre of commerce, transport and social interaction. While much has changed along the waterfront over the past century, the value and basic needs that made this coastal area essential to the community remains. It is also seems self-evident that Georgetown waterfront has and will continue to change, responding to meet new social and economic conditions as they arise. Uses and activities along the waterfront to provide a diversity of opportunities and choices regarding recreation, tourism commercial and other water-dependent and upland reliant activities was identified.
Penang Port envisaged that the redevelopment of Georgetown’s waterfront will enhance Penang as a tourist destination and serve as a catalyst for revitalizing the inner city of Georgetown. It has proposed two projects to the Government namely ‘The Redevelopment of Swettenham Pier’ and ‘The Development of Public Marina’. This development will be a feature attraction and complimentary to the overall waterfront redevelopment to increase tourist arrivals to Penang by sea. The intended waterfront development shall be in harmony with the unique nature of Georgetown’s background of rich heritage as well as a shopping and leisure destination. Georgetown with its Ancillary and Service Buildings historic background which dated back to 19th century will be a nostalgic brand. Thus the proposed development will draw similarities to such existing waterfront development in the world.
Penang is viewed by many to be a suitable location for a marina that will anchor itself as the flag ship for all marinas along the west coast of peninsula Malaysia. Loacated in the midst of historic Georgetown, integrated with its other well known attractions, it will compliment other recreational marine detinations in the region such as Phuket, Thailand and Singapore.
The proposed marina facility is also part of a larger national program for stimulating marine recreational activities for Malaysians and regional and international yachters, where there are many marinas at various stages of development along the coastal towns and cities of both peninsula and east Malaysia.
Visualised as a world-class marina with world-class facilities, the objective of this project is to be the first port of call for boats coming in from the Indian Ocean and also to be developed as a hub for super yachts. It also will complement Langkawi and neighbouring islands. It is located at the Church Street Pier with maximum capacity of 102 boats or yachts ranging between 10 to 40 metres. The RM 44 million marina which commissioned in mid October 2005 had been chosen as one of the main stop-over for the 16th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta held on 21st till 24th November 2005.
The whole development is aimed at improving the public realm. The main building components are:-
* The marina building
* The refurbished pier
* Pier edge restaurants
* Ancillary and Service Buildings
The development of Tanjung City Marina WIII nave great aavantage in boosting Penang Island’s image as a tourist city. The tourism industry will receive the bulk of the development and the nation will benefit in terms of the increase of visitors from the world over. Apart from being a revenue earner it will also generate spin-offs business to develop. There is no doubt that the country’s coastal areas have tremendous potential for the tourism industry. Translating these potentials into real life will benefit the county in terms of economic, social and environmental points of view.
By: Penang Port Commission and Penang Port Sdn. Bhd.