Establishing culinary tourism through rail transport concept in Madiun

Establishing culinary tourism through rail transport concept in Madiun

Madiun Mayor Maidi along with officials of PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA) (Persero), reviewed the shipment of PT INKA's wagons to support the development of local culinary tourism on April 22, 2022. (ANTARA/HO-Madiun City Communication and Informatics Office/uyu)

The design is extraordinary.
The government of Madiun City, East Java Province, has been expediting the revitalization of the city in the last few years to develop the region from being a mere transit area to becoming a tourism destination.

Several community areas have been improved to become more attractive.

For instance, public places along Pahlawan Street had been renovated and integrated to become the Pahlawan Street Center (PSC). The area has the Sumber Wangi Park, Sumber Umis Park, and mall complex.

The Ngrowo Bening Educational and Tourism Park has also been established on a vacant land of the Madiun City Regional Drinking Water Company (PDAM) as a mini recreation and education site, with various types of animals and plants.

Other tourism sites in the city also include the Madiun Riverside Park, Pendekar Monument, and the culinary center on Rimba Darma Street.

In addition to the Rimba Darma Street, local dishes can be found at the Madiun Riverside Park. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) culinary booths from 27 villages throughout the city make the area a street food center.

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The city government, under the leadership of Mayor Maidi, seems to have developed the region based on a concept of urban tourism by establishing various new attractions to draw more domestic and foreign tourists.

The mayor noted that various big cities around the world, such as Singapore and Bangkok, are vibrant locations since they present various attractions that are open round the clock. Hence, the same concept has started to be applied in the development of Madiun City.

"Our region does not have any natural scenery. However, it does not mean that our city cannot be an attractive region. Hence, we strive to make it attractive by using the concept," he affirmed.

Hence, the government continues to strive and innovate in developing the city.

Currently, it is collaborating with two state-owned enterprises (SOEs) -- train and railway manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA) (Persero) and train service provider PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) (Persero) Operation Area (Daop) 7 Madiun -- to establish a culinary tourism destination based on a rail transport concept on Bogowonto Street.

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Maidi explained that the step also aims to highlight the history of Madiun City as a national train and railway manufacturing center – as PT INKA (Persero) was established in 1981 in the city.

“Madiun City and (development of the national) train industry are inseparable since they have their own share of history. We will strengthen it," he remarked.

As the development program has been started, a long-time-buried railway track has been successfully retrieved from under the pavement of Bogowonto Street by PT KAI (Persero) Daop 7 Madiun.

The track used to serve the Madiun-Ponorogo route that had not been operated since the mid-1980s.

The mayor remarked that the area will not only be a culinary center but also an educational site to showcase the history of the rail transport industry.

"Bogowonto Street has a great history. Hence, we intend to revive it, so that it will not vanish," he stated.

The Madiun city government will also increase the number of street lights as well as revitalize the surrounding park and other supporting public facilities along the road, so that the area can become a unique urban tourism destination.

Director for Development of PT INKA (Persero) Agung Sedaju stated that his side will provide four wagons to support development of the culinary tourism site.

"(They include) one executive class wagon made of stainless steel and three flat wagons," he noted.

He remarked that the containers on the flat wagons will be modified into restaurants or cafes.

Head of PT KAI (Persero) Daop 7 Madiun Hendra Wahyono stated that his side, as the owner of the rail transport assets in the area, fully supported the government's development plan.

"Since the (Madiun-Ponorogo) railroad track is not operated, it can be utilized as the mayor's wish," he noted.

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Opened soon

After the track was successfully revitalized by PT KAI (Persero), the four wagons made by PT INKA (Persero) had also been delivered gradually to Bogowonto Street.

Mayor Maidi had directly reviewed the shipment and lauded the rail transport manufacturer.

"The work of PT INKA (Persero) is quite fast. Henceforth, we will also work quickly," he remarked.

He also lauded the corporation’s design of the renovated wagons, as the interiors of the wagons were made to offer utmost comfort, so that visitors can have an experience akin to enjoying culinary tourism on a real train.

Maidi expects that it will make the culinary tourism area attractive.

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"The design is extraordinary. Thank you so much PT INKA (Persero), as it has surpassed expectations. We also express our gratitude to PT KAI (Persero) and other stakeholders, who have participated in the development program," he added.

He is optimistic that the culinary tourism site on Bogowonto Street would be able to strengthen the branding of Madiun City as a modern shopping and culinary tourism destination.

The site is expected to offer more choices of attractive places in Madiun City to optimize the local tourism potential as well as increase economic growth and community welfare.

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