In light of the recent ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards 2017 (AIFFA2017), Sarawak Tourism Board has begun looking into promoting Sarawak through the film industry.
The Board’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering expressed Sarawak Tourism’s desire in using entertainment in marketing to travellers, in addition to the Board’s traditional marketing strategies.
Earlier this year, the Board set up a Filming Support Unit to aid international film production houses in getting permits, ground support and location scouting.
With Chinese film Blue Tears airing in China later this month, as well as previous cooking shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation and Australian cooking show Out Of The Blue, Sarawak plans on expanding its presence in television and film in the near future.
The newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, will now take the lead on Sarawak’s tourism in addition to his other State’s Ministerial portfolios.
Now the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Abdul Karim stated that “while he foresees a lot of challenges ahead, he will use his position to ‘bring good things to Sarawak’ through tourism”.
Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the cabinet reshuffle on May 6, which include Datuk Abdul Karim’s new position as Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, a post previously held by him.
The Miri May Fest, also known as Miri’s City Day Celebration, is a month-long celebration held annually since 2005 when Miri went up in status from town to city.
Throughout the month of May, public entertainment and events such as musical, dancing/singing or cultural and arts events, sports competitions, youth programmes, charity drives, parades and food fairs will pepper the city.
This city-wide festival coincides with the Borneo Jazz Festival, on May 12 to 13.
Various programmes will be held to commemorate Miri City Day, many of which have been well received by visitors in previous years’ celebrations.
Sibu will be hosting a Da Bo Gong Festival, or Tua Pek Kong in the local Hokkien dialect, on May 12 to 14.
This Festival is held to commemorate the Da Bo Gong deity, the ‘god of the land,’ as well as to recognise the importance of Sibu’s Chinese ancestry and heritage.
Every year, this Festival encourages international cultural tourism to Sibu, while also encouraging the communities in Sibu to live in harmony and unity, as was one of the purposes and jurisdiction of the Deity in question.
The Tua Pek Kong temple in Sibu – formerly known as Eng Ann Teng Temple or Temple of Everlasting Peace – has been a tourist hotspot for many years due to its rich history and beauty.
There are 68 Tua Pek Kong temples in Sarawak – the oldest one being in Kuching.
The Borneo Jazz Festival is back at ParkCity Everly in Miri on May 12 to 13 and will be celebrating its 12th anniversary this year.
The festival days are packed with activities, beginning with the outreach programme, where young musicians can learn tips and tricks for jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments from the festival performers.
The evening performances will commence at the beach-side stage, with a dancing and sitting area and food stalls all around, concluding with an ‘after-party’ jam session at the ParkCity Everly Hotel’s Ruai Bar.
The outreach programme will include classes on the basics of jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments, while the greening efforts this year will be a beach clean-up, a change from the tree plantings from the past few years.