Nordic Travel Fair

Sarawak Tourism Board went for a week-long tourism promotion mission to Finland attending the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki and also conducted destination briefing and partners’ engagement session in Amsterdam with local Sarawak partners.

 Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is set to ramp its tourism promotion in the Netherlands with at least three Dutch operators who have expressed their interests in joint marketing collaboration.

 The Product Managers from Fox Verre Reizen and Sawadee Reizen expressed their interests to do a familiarization trip to Sarawak in order for them to have a first-hand experience of the destination whereas the Product Manager of Pangea Travel had, indicated his intention to include the Central Region as a new product in their promotional catalogue.

 Meanwhile in Helsinki, the STB delegation were guests at the office of the Malaysian Embassy, meeting with the First Secretary, Norhalilah Abdul Jalil.

Norlilah (left) with Sharzede at the Malaysian Embassy
Norlilah (left) with Sharzede at the Malaysian Embassy

Sarawak at the Flight Centre Travel Expo

Sarawak Tourism Board will be at the Flight Centre Travel Expo, having booths at the Sydney and Melbourne consumer shows on from February 2-3 and 9-10, respectfully.

In Sydney, the Sarawak Booth will be located at Stand No.2 at the Sydney Showground, from 9:00am to 4:00pm., and Stand No.77 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Flight Centre Australia organises their consumer travel Expo in several cities of Australia annually. STB will only participate in Sydney and Melbourne consumer shows with its own booth.

Sarawak attending Flight Centre Travel Expo 2018
Sarawak attending Flight Centre Travel Expo 2018

AirAsia now flies KK-Sibu

AirAsia’s Kota Kinabalu – Sibu daily flight was officiated at the Sibu Airport on the evening of January 29th.

This flight takes up the route previously serviced by MasWing, reassuring business communities, locals and tourists that their flight between Sibu and the capital of Sabah remains.

Visitors from Kota Kinabalu can now take the 1 hour 20 minute flight to Sibu, which offers a unique experience to visitors, such as cruises along the Rajang River, which is the longest river in Malaysia, as well as the rich and authentic cultures of the local communities.

The flight was received by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

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Kabong Kite Festival

March 8 – 10, 2019

The Kabong Kite Festival, or Pesta Layang-layang Kabong, takes place every year at Tanjung Kembang Beach with a beach-wide celebration of ‘all things kite’.

The festival aims to promote the kite heritage and culture of the local communities as well as to promote the beaches in Kabong, with colourful kites, both modern and traditional, taking flight over the village area.

Along with kite flying, the festival features local product sales such as crafts and food, sports competitions and autoshows, karaoke contests and night festivals, as well as exhibition booths and all other forms of merrymaking.

For updates on the event, visit here….

Kabong Kite Festival taking off. Photo credit: Sarawakvoice.com
Kabong Kite Festival taking off. Photo credit: Sarawakvoice.com 
Other Events
Sarawak Borneo Cross Country Motorcycle Rally 2019 (March 8- 17)

Mukah Kaul Festival 2019 (April 20 – 28)

Miri May Fest 2019 (Month of May)

Kuching Ultra Marathon

March 2 – 3, 2019

The Kuching Ultra Marathon is back for the third time for a “meowderful” adventure in the Cat City Capital of Sarawak.

The categories for the Marathon are set at 30km, 50km, 70km, and 100km, with the flag-off taking place at M-Hotel and ending in venue will be at the M-Hotel in Kuching.

Register at the website here…

Flag-off during the Kuching Ultra Marathon. Retrieved from Kuching Ultra Website.
Flag-off during the Kuching Ultra Marathon. Retrieved from Kuching Ultra Website.

 

STB Celebrates CNY by Promoting Iconic Sarawak Animals

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) celebrates this Chinese New Year by promoting Sarawak’s iconic animal, the Bornean Bearded Pig.

Around 24% of Sarawak’s population are of Chinese descent, making the lunar New Year a big celebration throughout the state every year.

The use of the ang pau is a tradition celebrated by Chinese communities throughout Sarawak and the world, where the elders give red packets to children on the Lunar New Year for good fortune. In more modern renditions of the red packet, the animal of the Chinese zodiac for that year is often featured on the front.

As the Visit Sarawak Campaign continues, STB used this opportunity to celebrate the local cultural tradition of celebrating the lunar New Year by printing red packets for their partners in tourism, as well as promoting Sarawak’s distinct nature, this year being the Bornean Bearded Pig.

Bako National Park’s Bornean Bearded Pig is one of the most popular animals in the park, second only to the proboscis monkey, it became the perfect option for the “red packet”.

For more information, you can read the press release here…

Red packets featuring the iconic Bornean Bearded Pig.
Red packets featuring the iconic Bornean Bearded Pig.

 

Video Production in Sarawak

Video production in Sarawak is not a new thing, as the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has steadily assisted 20 to 25 productions per year for the past few years.

While STB doesn’t have the authority to ‘green light’ a production or issue permits, they are present to assist and guide production houses through the application processes to the Chief Minister’s Office and Sarawak Immigration Office, as well as to offer a letter of support to help in the application.

Filming permit applications hinge on two criteria; that the production is beneficial to Sarawak’s tourism industry and that applications and documents are submitted two months in advance, in accordance with the Chief Minister’s Office and Sarawak Immigration Office’s standard operating procedures.

In 2018, STB assisted production houses such as the Pekin Express by Eccholine International Line Production from Belgium and “Islands-Earth’s Paradise Isles” by BBC Natural History Unit from UK.

Over the years, STB had a hand in assisting productions such as the Asia’s Next Top Model (Season 2 Episode 9), an episode of River Monsters, Surviving Borneo with Henry Golding, Anthony Bourdain’s – Parts Unknown, to name a few.

Pekin Express, the Belgian equivalent of the ‘Amazing Race,’ being filmed in Sarawak.
Pekin Express, the Belgian equivalent of the ‘Amazing Race,’ being filmed in Sarawak.

 

Haikou – Kuching Charter Flight Welcomed at Kuching International Airport

The Haikou – Kuching chartered flight arrived at Kuching International Airport early January 17th

The schedule chartered flight is a result of the joint collaboration between Innosar Holiday Sdn. Bhd., United Cat (M) Sdn. Bhd. and Malindo Airways.

The route flies twice weekly between the southern China city and Kuching, the schedule depicted below.

haikou flight

In conjunction with the inaugural flight a five day 4 nights media familiarization will also be organised jointly with the Sarawak Tourism Board.

This schedule chartered flight is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports and the Sarawak Tourism Board.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, garlanding disembarking passengers with Sarawak-themed bead necklaces.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, garlanding disembarking passengers with Sarawak-themed bead necklaces.

Sarawak Feast in Hong Kong

Coined as “A Sarawak Adventure in Hong Kong”, the event took place at the Asia Society in Hong Kong (ASHK) on January 12 and 13 to a great reception by the Hong Kong public, especially the cooking demonstrations.

The cooking demonstrations included dishes such as Sarawak laksa, which was coined as “breakfast of the gods” by the late Anthony Bourdain, ayam pansuh or chicken cooked in bamboo, terung asam soup made from a vegetable only found in Borneo scientifically known as Solanum Lasiocarpun Dunal.

Other food demonstrations where visitors could watch the preparation of the food included the ‘linut’ a Melanau dish made from fresh sago flour, ‘tumpik’ a Melanau pan-baked sago and coconut pancake, ‘serunding halia’ or floss made from finely sliced and fried ginger with Malaysian anchovies and ‘senape’ a Kelabit dish of glutinous rice cooked in an ‘isip’ leaf.

Tuak, a traditional rice wine made by the Iban women, was also brought out on the regular for some tasting, while a glutinous rice pounding demonstration took place with a traditional large mortar and pestle, just as they are used to this day in the longhouses of Sarawak

The “Sarawak Adventure in Hong Kong” also featured art, music, nature and culture of the state in the form of demonstrations and performances.

The display and selling of crafts from groups like the Penan Women Project also took place, with woven, beaded and carved designs of the indigenous Sarawak people attracting lots of attention from passers-by.

There were cultural dance workshops featuring dances like the ‘ngajat’ and ‘alu alu’ which is a bamboo dance of the Melanaus, blow pipe demonstrations and Orang Ulu ‘sape’ or Boat Lute workshops, a ‘gasing’ or Malay top-spinning demonstration, and a live demonstration of traditional Bornean tattooing.

There were also video screenings of Sarawak’s many attractions and talks led by Sarawak tourism industry players, on the various wonders that can be found in Sarawak’s nature and festivals, as well as displays of art and photography.

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