WALK THIS WAY: The festival will draw more tourists to explore the city on foot, thanks to a new map featuring 20 places of interest
JOHOR BARU: THE Ninth Johor Baru Arts Festival will open with the launching of a new map of the city, entitled Johor Baru: Your Walking Map.
The map features downtown Johor Baru and highlights 20 places of interest and heritage sites.
Among the heritage sites are the iconic Sultan Ibrahim Building on Bukit Timbalan, as well as historical places of worship such as the Johor Baru Old Chinese Temple, Church of Immaculate Conception, Sikh Gurdwara Sahib and Sri Raja Mariamman Temple.
Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, who is also patron of the arts festival, said the map was primarily aimed at promoting tourism by increasing the city's profile and introducing its various heritage sites.
"Many may not be aware that Johor Baru has a rich historical and cultural heritage, and it is hoped that the map will bring that to the fore," he said, adding that the walking map would also be of interest to locals.
The back of the map features short write-ups and factoids about the 20 sites that represent the state's major ethnic groups and reflect its cultural diversity and multi-racial makeup.
Shahrir said the reason for the creation of the walking map was because the best way to discover a city was by walking and exploring its many nooks and crannies. Only then would one be able to truly experience and get a feel of the city, he added.
He hoped that the city's hotels, tour agents and tour guides would help by distributing the map to visitors.
"We are printing a limited number of copies of the map, but would be more than happy to give soft copies of the map to any organisation who wish to sponsor the printing of more copies; they can even add their logos on the map," said Shahrir.
The map, he said, would be used at selected events under the 9th Johor Baru Arts Festival, including the JB Heritage Race Season 2 and JB's Wheely Fun, a gathering of 2,000 cyclists co-organised by Ronda Riadah, a bicycle club.
"The slogan for this year's JB Arts Festival is: 'This is more than just a festival. This is who we are'.
"I hope Johor Baru residents will actively support, attend, embrace and participate in this year's Festival," said Shahrir.
The festival will be held at Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim from Sept 1 to 29.
During the launch, Shahrir was driven in a vintage car to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam and the Johor Baru Old Chinese Temple, sites listed on the map.
He was accompanied by Ronda Riadah members. The tour concluded with tea at the Kin Wah Kopitiam in Jalan Tan Hiok Nee.