Sarawak Cultural Village – An Opportunity Not to Be Missed!

KUCHING – Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) has announced new discounted entrance rates for visitors who want to visit the largest living museum in Sarawak with various packages offered. The rates are available from July 1 to December 31, 2020.

The ‘Cuti Berami-Rami’ package rate entitles local Sarawakians to a discount of between 33 to 50 percent from the previous rate, which is from RM30 to RM20 per adult and RM20 to RM10 for children aged between 2 to 12 years old.

Meanwhile, the ‘Cuti-Cuti Malaysia’ package is RM60 per adult and RM30 for children aged between 2 to 12 years old – applicable to non-Sarawakians. Previously, the rate was RM95 and RM60, respectively.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with SCV’s 30th Anniversary celebration, it is also offering family packages suitable for those who are eager to spend their quality time with their families and at the same time, be part of SCV’s 30 years of glorious journey. The packages are the ‘Family Together Gather Package’ and ‘Family Berami Package’.

Previously, the ‘Family Together Gather Package’ was offered at RM270 (for 2 adults and 2 children) and RM320 (for 2 adults and 3 children) but the new discounted rates are at RM180 and RM210 respectively.

For Sarawakian families, they can go for the ‘Family Berami Package’ where the new rates are RM60 for 2 adults and 2 children, and RM123.60 for 2 adults and 3 children.

All these special rates and packages are inclusive of the entrance fee, a visit to the ethnic houses and watching cultural performances.

For more information, visit the Sarawak Cultural Village official website at https://scv.com.my/ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SarawakCulturalVillageOFFICIAL.

Photo shows the entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village.
Photo shows the entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village.

Delving into Borneo’s First Ever Full-Fledged VR Theme Park

The D-Virtual Park, located on Jalan Meranek, Kota Samarahan is Borneo’s first ever full-fledged Virtual Reality (VR) Theme Park which is now open to the public.

The VR theme park offers 10 adrenaline pumping VR entertainment rides that would swipe anyone off their feet. The rides include VR Speed Cruiser, VR Giant Slide, The Enchanted Chamber, VR Gatling Gun, VR Knight Rider, VR D’Battleship, VR Gyrate, VR Trekker, VR Quad Squad and the park’s all-time favourite, VR Elevation D’luxe.

The public can also experience entertainment services such as eSports Centre and a customised Hologram Theatre screenplay, which showcases the most revolutionary form of cinematic experience. It also houses SD X Studio, SD X FabLab, SDX-Arena, GiGA Virtual-Cafe and D-Tamu. They provide a Virtual Tour for the public to get an early insight of the facility which can be found on its main website.

During the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), D-Virtual Park will be reducing the number of visitors in accordance with the health and safety procedures imposed by the Government.

“We are evaluating several new and enhanced safety measures to ensure everyone’s safety while we work, stay and play at D-Virtual Park”, said Dato Dr. Ir. Ts. Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, Serba Dinamik Group Berhad Managing Director regarding the changes in the park’s operation procedures.

Visitors are required to wear facemasks upon entering the premise and to practise social distancing, while the park’s staff will be managing the crowd during their rides, at queues and at the café. Guests will need to book tickets in advance and scan a QR code before entering for contact tracing.

For more information, visit D-Virtual Park main website at
https://d-virtualpark.com/ or their main Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DVirtualParkKotaSamarahan/.

Photo courtesy of D-Virtual Park
Photo courtesy of D-Virtual Park

Appreciation Dinner for STB Chairman

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) held an appreciation dinner for the outgoing STB Chairman, Datuk Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz who is retiring after his 2-year term, along with the STB Board of Directors, who had successfully completed their tenure.

The appreciation dinner was held on July 6, 2020 at the Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching. It was attended by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew and STB staff.

Last year, Sarawak had achieved commendable results for its visitor arrivals which was 5.22% higher than 2018.

“If it were not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would be able to achieve our target this year as I am confident that we have the right ingredients to attract more visitors”, said Datuk Haji Abdul Karim. He hoped that by 2021, Sarawak would be able to come out strongly despite the challenges faced, to show the State’s focus of developing the tourism industry and helping Sarawak to flourish.

STB Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor also mentioned her gratitude to the STB Chairman and the Board of Directors for their commitment throughout their term.

“It has been an honour to work closely with the Chairman in handling the various challenges within the industry, with the support from the Minister and the Board of Directors. This year, we were so confident that we could hit the 5 million target, with 16% increase in January, however, we are now faced with unprecedented challenges. We will give our best to bring the State’s tourism to a faster recovery, working closely with the industry players and in alignment with MOTAC’s direction,” she said.

  Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second right) presenting an appreciation gift for STB Chairman, Datuk Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz (second left), with STB CEO, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor (right) and Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew (left).

Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second right) presenting an appreciation gift for STB Chairman, Datuk Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz (second left), with STB CEO, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor (right) and Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew (left).

Sarawak Listed as A Priority for Federal Tourism Development

KUCHING – The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Hjh. Nancy Shukri had announced that Sarawak is listed in the ministry’s priority list for tourism development.

She said a committee led by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Secretary General, Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat had visited several ongoing tourism projects around Kuching city, that had the potential to be developed as tourism spots.

“Among the places were the Heritage Walk project by Bintangor Village to Esplanade Kuching, National Archives of Malaysia project and a handicraft project  which is designed to develop craft products of Sarawak”, she said during her speech at a dinner with the state tourism, arts and culture industry players.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Sarawak government is continuing the Visit Sarawak Campaign, focusing on promoting the five key themes; culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals (CANFF).

“Besides continuing with the Visit Sarawak Campaign, a new post COVID-19 Campaign with the tagline ‘Rediscover Yourself in Sarawak’ has been organised to reach out to the domestic market, intrastate and interstate travel, whilst embracing the new norm,” he added.

Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (third right) receiving a souvenir from the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (third left). (Photo taken by Mohd Alif Noni. Photo source: New Sarawak Tribune).
Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (third right) receiving a souvenir from the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (third left). (Photo taken by Mohd Alif Noni. Photo source: New Sarawak Tribune).

Sarawak Tourism Recovery Kicks Off with Domestic Travel

MIRI – In an effort to restart tourism efforts in Sarawak, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak will continue to promote the Visit Sarawak Campaign (VSC) with its new post COVID-19 campaign tagline ‘Rediscover Yourself in Sarawak’.

The Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting mentioned that the campaign aims to reach out to domestic tourists and encourage intrastate and interstate travel among locals. He said this during the handing over of the Regional Specific Tourist Guide (RSTG) licenses to 19 new tourist guides on June 8, 2020 in Miri.

“We are shifting our focus to domestic tourism and will continue with the ‘Visit Sarawak Campaign’ with the focus of strengthening the ‘Sarawak More to Discover’ brand, at the same time promoting five key themes of Sarawak’s unique experience in terms of Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals (CANFF),” he said.

He pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak had seriously affected tourism industry players, especially tourist guides. With the reopening of domestic tourism, tourist guides will have new responsibilities to make sure tourists abide with the health and safety protocols during their visits.

He was confident that the new licensed tourist guides would boost the tourism industry in Sarawak and considered the possibility of organising similar RSTG courses in Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu as well.

Photo shows Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting (seated centre), the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Hii Chang Kee (Second left), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sarawak Director, Mr Suriya Charles Buas (second right), STB CEO, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor (extreme left) and the 19 new licensed tour guides in Miri. (Photo courtesy of New Sarawak Tribune).
Photo shows Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Sebastian Ting (seated centre), the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Hii Chang Kee (Second left), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sarawak Director, Mr Suriya Charles Buas (second right), STB CEO, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor (extreme left) and the 19 new licensed tour guides in Miri. (Photo courtesy of New Sarawak Tribune).

Diveheart Borneo: Bringing Smiles To Some Very Special Kids

Meryl, a lovely nine year-old girl with cerebral palsy has found confidence in herself when her mother, Kimberly, signed her to try out the Diveheart Kids programme by Diveheart Borneo team and immediately she fell in love with scuba diving.

The Diveheart Kids programme in Kuching, Sarawak is the first one to have been done in Borneo. The programme aims to instill the “can do” spirit in participants, inspiring them to take on challenges that they may not have considered before.

The in-water training was organised by the local Kuching PADI dive centre, Premier Marine and Scuba Centre and the Diveheart training was conducted by Ernest C.Teo, a PADI Instructor and  Diveheart Borneo Coordinator. Among the volunteers were medical professionals and a professional rehab physiotherapist.

“Scuba therapy has benefitted Meryl in a lot of ways. She is able to move every part of her body and it gets her to think what she needs to do. Nowadays, she is more alert of her surroundings and feels more confident of herself,” Kimberly added. 

Diveheart is a non-profit organisation based in Chicago, USA, offering scuba programmes for people with disability or adaptive scuba. Currently, it is the leading adaptive scuba training organisation in the world. While here in Asia, Diveheart is currently available only in Malaysia and at two locations, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching. 

Diveheart supports educational scuba diving programmes to provide both physical and psychological therapeutic value to participants. With the programme, the Diveheart team discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of water which provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we are equal.

For those who are interested to be a Diveheart volunteer, they can contact the Premier and Scuba Centre in Kuching at +6011-10572822 (Office) or visit http://www.divekuching.com/index.html. Volunteers do not have to be scuba divers as there are many areas they can be of assistance.

Photo shows one of the activities for the Diveheart Kids programme.
Photo shows one of the activities for the Diveheart Kids programme.


Reopening Of Sarawak National Parks

KUCHING – Following the reopening of the Sarawak tourism sector, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had also announced the reopening of Sarawak national parks in stages to the public from June 17, 2020 onwards. 

National parks which reopened on June 17 are Kubah National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Tanjung Datu National Park, Santubong National Park, Talang Satang National Park, Wind/Fairy Cave National Park, Batang Ai National Park, Samajaya National Park, Maludam National Park, Gunung Mulu National Park, Lambir National Park, Niah National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park and Pulong Tau National Park.

Meanwhile, Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching Wetland National Park and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park was reopened on June 22, 2020.

“For national parks, leisure and adventure activities, nature walk, caving, snorkelling and scuba diving with or without company of park guide, wildlife viewing activities and expedition activity in totally protected areas and wildlife centres are allowed”, said   Datuk Haji Abdul Karim.

“However, for trekking (leisure), only a maximum of ten (10) persons per group are allowed to enter at any one time per trail, while under trekking for adventure, only a minimum of two and a maximum of eight people per group are allowed to enter at any one time per trail,” he added.

As for adventure caving, only a minimum of two and a maximum of eight people per group are allowed to enter at any time and must be guided. Only specific forest trails, not exceeding three to five hours walk are allowed to be accessed.

The details of the SOPs can be downloaded through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak website at mtac.sarawak.gov.my or Sarawak Forestry Corporation official website at https://www.sarawakforestry.com/.

Photo shows the entrance to Kubah National Park – one of the national parks reopening on June 17
Photo shows the entrance to Kubah National Park – one of the national parks reopening on June 17

Sarawak Tourism Board Launches The “Rediscover Yourself In Sarawak” Video

KUCHING –Sarawak Tourism Board’s new video entitled “Rediscover Yourself In Sarawak” was launched by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, on June 22, 2020, following the reopening of the Sarawak tourism sector.

The video aimed to inspire travellers to rediscover themselves in Sarawak and at the same time help to boost the State’s tourism sector. It is also targeted at the domestic market for intra-state and inter-state travel, by embracing the new norm of travelling. 

The video showcased a delightful glimpse of the serenity, tranquillity and beauty of Sarawak, surrounded by a 140 million-year-old rainforest. This would encourage travellers residing in or visiting Sarawak to explore places they have never been to before. 

The video will be available for viewing on the Sarawak Tourism Board’s website at https://sarawaktourism.com/ from June 23, 2020. 

We welcome you back to Sarawak! 

#RediscoverSarawak
#MoreSarawak

Incentives Launching For Sarawak Tourism Revival

KUCHING – The Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah recently announced two new incentives; the Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) and the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund, for travel agents and tour operators in Sarawak to restart the tourism sector.

For the VIP package, Sarawak Travel Agencies will be receiving subsidies for tour packages sold for a minimum of 4 pax at any one time, excluding children below 2 years old. The categories are as follows:

  1. 3D/ 2N package – the agent will receive RM30 per person for the first four tourists and an additional RM20 for each subsequent tourist. 
  2. 4D/ 3N package – the agent will receive RM40 per person for the first four tourists and an additional RM25 for each subsequent tourist.
  3. 5D/ 4N package – the agent will receive RM50 per person for the first four tourists and an additional RM30 for each subsequent tourist.

Meanwhile, the second initiative – Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund is a catalytic programme to expand Sarawak Tourism’s Digital footprint and Share of Voice (SOV) in collaboration with industry partners. For this incentive, Sarawak Tourism Board will allocate funding of up to RM5000 per tour operator for website development and maintenance, content production and digital advertising which focusses on Sarawak Tourism. 

All Sarawak tour operators are invited to apply for the incentives which will be made available from 1st July 2020 to 31st December 2020. To find out more, contact Sarawak Tourism Board at +6 082 410 944 or visit sarawaktourism.com.

Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (fourth left) seen with other guests at the launch of the ‘Sarawak Reopens For Tourism’ package at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. (Photo by BERNAMA)
Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (fourth left) seen with other guests at the launch of the ‘Sarawak Reopens For Tourism’ package at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. (Photo by BERNAMA)

Sarawak Welcomes Back Tourism Activities

KUCHING – Sarawak hopes to get as much needed boost in its domestic tourism numbers with tourism activities reopening since June 17, 2020 onwards. Starting from this date, specific tourism, arts and cultural activities will resume operations during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). 

Basic guidelines on social distancing, personal hygiene, temperature scanning, sanitisation of public facilities should be observed, while staff, guests and contractors are required to download the MySejahtera and COVIDTrace apps, to facilitate necessary contact tracing.

According to Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, after months of inactivity, we are now ready to open our doors again with the hope that the RMCO will live up to its name with stringent SOP’s in place. We hope confidence will rebound and people will start to travel again and consider Sarawak as their preferred destination with so much to discover.

In a recent announcement, homestays, hotels, adventure and extreme tourism, scuba diving and snorkelling, theme parks (dry parks only), arts and culture museums, galleries, archives, handicraft centres and memorials are allowed to resume by complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines set by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

Tour operators can receive and sell bookings for domestic tour packages and activities allowed by the government. However, no overseas travel packages are permitted, and operators are encouraged to do online promotion for their packages, to substitute the promotional exhibitions or roadshows. Meanwhile, hoteliers are to limit the capacity of meeting rooms or conference halls by up to 50 per cent and attendees should practice social distancing besides keeping a record of the attendees’ details for at least six months. 

However, saunas, swimming pools, pubs, bars, karaoke and buffet restaurants are still not allowed, while music, dance or theatre schools and photography studios could operate from 17 June onwards, but operators or premise owners must inform clients on the SOP measures.

In addition, the creative industry sector such as production houses and studios can also start their operation activities for music, filming, videography, photography, graphic design and animation effective June 17 by observing the necessary SOPs. They will need to provide travelling records for the past 4 weeks for applications of necessary license and permits. 

The details of the SOPs can be downloaded from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak website at mtac.sarawak.gov.my.