by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA
KUALA TERENGGANU – The number of visitors to the drawbridge in Kuala Nerus has dropped by almost 40 per cent since early this year following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), according to its operator.
TI Properties Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Khalizan Mahmud, said only 5,668 visitors were recorded this month, compared to 14,763 visitors in December last year.
He said although the MCO 2.0 in Terengganu had just started last Friday, the first drawbridge in Southeast Asia was facing a drop in the number of visitors since the middle of January when the MCO was implemented in many of the west coast states.
“We are greatly affected (by the MCO) because a majority of our visitors were from the west coast states such as Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor. So, when the states were placed under the MCO, the number of visitors dropped, and now Terengganu is also placed under the MCO starting last week.
“Based on our records, the number of visitors to the drawbridge was 13,648 people in Oct 2020 and fell to 2,742 in November due to the implementation of the Conditional MCO. The number had jumped back in December but fell again this month,” he told Bernama, when contacted, today.
Khalizan said despite not earning any income, maintenance works for the Terengganu iconic bridge, which costs over RM100,000 per month, have to be carried out as usual.
However, he said the company managed to cover the cost by utilising the funds saved from the spike in admission tickets sales to the Skybridge Gallery before this, and they were also assisted by the parent company, Terengganu Incorporated.
Additionally, TI Properties Sdn Bhd took the initiatives to market drawbridge souvenirs such as t-shirt, caps and face masks on online platforms since early January, which somehow helped to cover the maintenance costs.
“Besides Shopee, we also sell the souvenirs on Facebook and Instagram,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khalizan said several planned events had to be postponed following the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
These include the exhibition of small and medium enterprises products from all over the country which was scheduled for this Chinese New Year celebration.
“There were also events that we have arranged every month but that is as much as we can do. With the strict standard operating procedures to contain the COVID-19 transmission, we cannot hold any events that involve many visitors,” he said.