Sarawak Tourism Board’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering and Director of Marketing Benedict Jimbau have recently been awarded the silver Meritorious Service Medal by the state of Sarawak.
The award is one of four Civil Administration Medals awarded to those who have rendered exceptional services to the state or Federal Government of Malaysia’s Civil Service.
Mary Wan and Benedict Jimbau have shown unceasingly exemplary service to the Sarawak tourism industry through their efforts in the Sarawak Tourism Board and promise to continue to do so.
In a new Borneo cycling itinerary, the “fort-to-fort” project and trail has been developed by the state’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC) and organised by Paradesa Borneo, to identify a heritage route six out of 20 forts, linked to the legacy of the Sarawak White Rajahs from over 105 years ago.
The bike trail, marketed as “Cycling the Heardhunter’s Heartland”, follows the trail from Kuching to Batang-Ai, exploring the heartland of the legendary Dayaks along the way.
Once feared as the Headhunters of Borneo, the Dayaks are known for their fearlessness and their daring battles with the White Rajahs, leading the Rajahs to build a string of forts to defend their territory.
Paradesa Borneo, the organisers of this new bike trail, is an adventure travel company that specialises in cycle tours throughout Sarawak with 16 unique bike tours under their belt, ranging from short half-day trips through city heritage sites as well as cross-country cycling adventures such as the Fort-to-Fort trail.
The adventure travel company also offers kayaking, caving and hiking tours around Sarawak in addition to its core products for cycle tourists.
The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is calling out to the public to propose names for the three-week-old Orangutan baby born on September 16 at the centre, located roughly 20km from the capital city of Kuching.
“Orangutan do respond to their names but we have yet to decide on the name. They are 90 per cent similar to humans, so they know when we call them by their names,” the centre’s manager Chong Jiew Han mentioned.
Chong added that the baby’s gender has not been determined, as the protective mother has kept out of sight and reach these past few weeks, therefore those who wish to suggest a name are asked to opt for a gender neutral name, possibly depicting a patriotic theme as the baby orangutan was born on Malaysia Day.
The suggested names can be sent to the Sarawak Forestry website (www.sarawakforestry.com) until the closing date on Nov 20, when the name will be decided by a selected panel and later announced during the Centre’s annual dinner on November 25.
Pesta Benak, or the Benak Festival, takes place in Sri Aman just a two and a half hour’s drive from Kuching city on October 14-16.
This festival takes the opportunity of the tidal bore phenomenon of the Batang Lupar River, where large waves are formed due to the funnelling of a flood tide from the ocean through the river’s narrow inlet.
This phenomenon attracts tidal bore surfers from around the world to surf the turbulent waters of the Batang Lupar.
Aside from surfing, there are speedboat and longboat races, stage shows, cultural exhibitions and food stalls along the river, and at the end of the day the Kings of the Water or Raja Air will be named from the winners of the different competitions.
15 representatives of the travel agents and hoteliers from Sarawak will be making their presence at this year’s ITB Asia to be held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on October 19 to 21.
ITB Asia is the largest B2B event in the region and has become the premier meeting place for the travel trade industry and also the forum for establishing high-quality customer contacts and conducting travel businesses.
The Sarawak Travel Agents will be actively taking part in the exhibitions, workshops and seminars, in an effort towards creating positive exposure and awareness in the international sphere on the relevance of Sarawak’s tourism products and destinations.
At ITB Asia, international exhibitors from all sectors within the travel businesses and Asia Pacific’s leading travel companies and emerging small and medium-sized enterprises will meet with top international buyers from the MICE, Leisure and Corporate Travel markets.
The event is open to registered trade partners from 10:00am to 6:00pm daily. Sarawak booth is located Hall F, booth number C15.
Kuching will host the Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APeco) on October 21 to 23at the Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching.
Under the theme “Creating Opportunities in Ecotourism”, the conference aim to promote ecotourism standards in the tourism industry and creating awareness while giving opportunity to educate, share and exchange ideas and knowledge about ecotourism.
With an assembly of 20 panellists ranging from destination founders to travel journalists, the conference will be covering specific topics of interest from Community to success stories in the ecotourism industry with special focus to the Asia Pacific region.
Organised by the Malaysia Association of Tour Agents (MATTA), it hope to create a conducive dialogue to further development in the ecotourism industry while acknowledging tourism as valid national investment as it creates a way for preservation and development to merge as one sustainable change to improve the livelihoods of communities.
The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita, was officially opened on September 24 coinciding with the 175th anniversary of the founding of State.
Housed in a Fort named after James Brooke’s wife, Rani Margherita, the gallery’s irreplaceable historical documents, artefacts and arts from the White Rajah’s era, wrapped in steep history and preserved in time.
The gallery also includes new addition such as a portrait painting of Rentappainted by the local artist, Alena Murang, depicting the man who was a hero to some and a villain to others.
This gallery was a joint project of the Sarawak Museum Department, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Mr. Jason Brooke, the grandson of the last Rajah Muda and the Director of The Brooke Trust.
Old Siniawan town, located in the Bau district about 30 minutes’ drive from the city will be gazetted as a ‘Heritage Area’.
With the gazetting process underway, Siniawan will soon be “linked” to the State’s Brooke Heritage Site and Brooke Gallery in Fort Margherita, of which all these sites will be upgraded to be turned into a new tourism product.
Siniawan, was among the locations for many key battles during the Brooke era and has gained popularity over the years for its weekend night market with its rustic setting attracting locals and tourists alike to sample its wide range of local food and beverages.
The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching, has welcomed a new member to the Orang Utan family with the recent birth of a baby Orang Utan.
The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) recently announced that the 20 year old mother, Analisa was spotted on the feeding platform on September 18 with a new-born baby in her arms, the gender of the baby is still unknown.
This is far from the first natural birth at the Wildlife Centre, as Analisa has given birth to two babies before and she herself was born to Seduku, one of the oldest female orangutan at the Centre.
Semenggoh now has 27 free-ranging orangutans, and the newest birth has provided irrefutable proof of the success of the Centre’s rehabilitation programme, while also inspiring those who are working towards the conservation and rehabilitation of orangutans throughout Sarawak.
The Sarawak Tourism Board’s strategy in tapping the China market has produced positive results with the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hebei Province at a ceremony held here on September 25.
Signed by the Chairman of STB, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz and Hebei Governor Zhang Qingwei, the MOU provides opportunity for joint tourism cooperation, aggressive promotions and establishment of business exchange specifically focusing on the tourism sector.
The document also focuses on research on tourism attractions and development as both destinations have similar tourism products such as mountains, geo-parks, lakes, rural and cultural tourism.
The Signing of MOU will see positive result in charter flights connecting Sarawak and Hebei Province to cater for movement of tourists and business travel, and will bring Sarawak to another level in their effort to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sarawak.