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).

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.

Re-Opening of Four Nature Reserves in Sarawak

KUCHING – Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has announced the re-opening of four selected nature reserves to the public starting June 8, 2020, based on the decision made by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and watch out for more to reopen by June 17.

The selected nature reserves are Sama Jaya Nature Reserve (Kuching), Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (Sibu), Piasau Nature Reserve (Miri) and Bukit Sembiling Nature Reserve (Limbang). During this time, visitors must comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that SFC has put in place.

Activities such as ecotourism tours, picnic, children playground recreational activities and physical fitness area, group physical exercise, religious or social functions, trekking outside authorised tracks, as well as disturbing, touching and feeding of wildlife are not permitted.

Children below 12 are not allowed to enter and all names and contact numbers of each visitor must be recorded. Priority will be given to those who had booked prior to their visit. The SOP pointed out that a maximum of 100 visitors are allowed per day, depending on the discretion of the respective wardens.

SFC has also designated separate trails for jogging and walking, while facilities such as café and the park shop will remain closed. Opening hours for senior citizens are from 7am to 10am, and adults from 2pm to 6pm. The reserves will be closed between 10am to 2pm.

For more inquiries, the public can contact the respective nature reserve offices; Sama Jaya Nature Reserve (+6082-365194 or +6011-25181901), Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (+6082-228108 or +6019-4685402), Piasau Nature Reserve (+6085-644487 or +6016-8898590) and Bukit Sembiling Nature Reserve (+6085- 215121 or +6013-8121930).

Bukit Lima Nature Reserve is one of the selected nature reserves which re-opened on June 8. (Photo by Sarawak Forestry Corporation)
Bukit Lima Nature Reserve is one of the selected nature reserves which re-opened on June 8. (Photo by Sarawak Forestry Corporation)

Piasau Nature Reserve’s Newest Member – Marco!

Piasau Nature Reserve, Miri welcomed another successful nesting of its Oriental Pied Hornbill, with the birth of Marco in April this year.

Marco is the seventh successful breeding of the Oriental Pied hornbill species by Piasau’s lovebirds, Jimmy and Juliet.

The name Marco was officially announced in the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) Facebook page after it was chosen by the public via a Facebook poll created by SFC on May 30.

It has received the most number of votes among other names suggested. These included Louis, Quarantino, Green and Covid.

Photo shows Marco, the new born Oriented Pied Hornbill in Piasau Nature Reserve. (Photo by Sarawak Forestry Corporation)
Photo shows Marco, the new born Oriented Pied Hornbill in Piasau Nature Reserve.
(Photo by Sarawak Forestry Corporation)

Sarawak To Woo Local Tourists

The global COVID-19 outbreak has severely impacted the Tourism industry in Sarawak. In an effort to kick start recovery of the tourism sector, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that the state is shifting its strategy, to focus on ASEAN and domestic markets.

“We are narrowing our focus to key markets, to be more integrated but achievable post-Covid-19,” adding that the state would be participating in domestic and regional marketing initiatives for this purpose. Domestic travel will play a huge role during this recovery. Hence, the reason for realigning our marketing strategy”, he said.

While travelling is unlikely at the moment due to health and safety reasons, Sarawak will focus on digital marketing as its core approach to increase destination visibility and connect with consumers to create confidence among partners, as well as travellers. We need to leverage on digital marketing to create ripple effect messages and remind travellers that Sarawak is waiting to be explored”, he added.

In the meantime, Sarawak is looking into improving the standards and quality of the state’s tourism products which includes creative packages, new tourism infrastructures, facilities and identifying other “wow” factor to push for arrivals.

Darulhana V2

Bung Sadung Climbathon Challenge 2020 Postponed

KUCHING – The 3rd Bung Sadung Climbathon Challenge scheduled to take place on August 30, 2020 has been postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who have registered for the event will be reimbursed accordingly.

“It is unfortunate that the climbathon will not take place this year, but the safety and wellbeing of participants and the community is our top priority. We need to do our part to help break the transmission of COVID-19”, said the organising committee’s spokesperson.

This year’s climbathon is organised by Kampung Bunga’s Development and Security committee in collaboration with the Serian District Council and supported by Serian Resident Office and Tarat Sports and Recreation.

Photo shows the Bung Sadung Climbathon flag off in 2018. (Photo by Bung Sadung, Serian Sarawak)
Photo shows the Bung Sadung Climbathon flag off in 2018.
(Photo by Bung Sadung, Serian Sarawak)

Re-Strategizing Sarawak Tourism Industry

KUCHING – The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believes that by re-strategizing the state’s tourism industry, it will help to rebound the industry back to its glory days.

“I strongly believe with the kind of products that we have like our greenery, our rivers, our cultures, and with the right support from the Government, I think maybe in a year and a half we would be able to restore our tourism sector,” he told reporters after a press conference with the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg on the formation of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC).

In the press conference, the Chief Minister of Sarawak had also announced that the Council had reviewed the development strategies under the 12th Malaysia Plan as part of the State Economic Exit Strategy Post Covid-19.

Sarawak will anchor on two core principles; Digital Economy and Environmental Sustainability which consists of ten key propositions, which includes those beyond leisure tourism that affects the tourism industry.

Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during a short interview after the press conference with Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg on the formation of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC). (Photo courtesy of The Borneo Post Online)
Photo shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during a short interview after the press conference with Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg on the formation of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC). (Photo courtesy of The Borneo Post Online)