Taxi Drivers as Ambassadors in Tourism

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) distributed corporate shirts with the Visit Sarawak Campaign logo on the front to some Taxi Associations in Kuching on May 29.

Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, CEO of STB said that with these shirts, she hopes that the taxi drivers will portray themselves as the ambassadors of Sarawak that they are, especially to first-time travellers to Sarawak, sharing their knowledge of Sarawak to facilitate those visitors’ experiences.

The five taxi associations involved in the distribution of corporate shirt – Persatuan Teksi Bumiputera Bahagian Kuching, Gabungan Pemilik Teksi Kuching Bhd, Kuching Division Taxi Association, Persatuan Teksi Bumi Kenyalang and the Sarawak Taxi Owner’s Association.

Mr Zainal Ossin from Persatuan Teksi Bumiputera Bahagian Kuching represented his association in receiving the shirts, and he said he is very delighted and proud to wear corporate shirt that STB has given, and that he will ensure his colleague to wear it proudly as part of their job to promote Sarawak and also interesting places around Kuching.

The Board plans on distributing around 900 of these corporate shirts to taxi associations in Kuching, Miri and Sibu.

Bring Your Own Bottle to the Rainforest World Music Festival

This Rainforest World Music Festival, festival goers are encouraged to bring their own bottles, as the festival has prepared 20 water stations and have stopped selling single-use bottles in the venue.

This decision came after over 60,000 single-use water bottles were collected at last year’s festival, inspiring the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) to take steps to reduce this waste generated.

“This will possibly make the biggest impact at RWMF this year as it will greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastics at the festival,” said the CEO of STB, Sharzede Datu HJ Salleh Askor at the press conference announcing the RWMF’s many green initiatives this year, which include recycling, upcycling, composting and shuttle buses to reduce carbon emissions.

This year heralds the 22nd edition of the festival, taking place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching.

For more information, visit the website at rwmf.net.

Image shows Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) next to one of the decorated recycle bins that will be at the RWMF. Second on his right, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Lee Kim Shin is holding the limited RWMF collapsible cup. Also in the photo (from left) Board of Director for STB Tuan Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Nordin, CEO of STB Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, Principle Assistant Secretary Yusfida Binti Khalid
Image shows Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) next to one of the decorated recycle bins that will be at the RWMF. Second on his right, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Lee Kim Shin is holding the limited RWMF collapsible cup. Also in the photo (from left) Board of Director for STB Tuan Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Nordin, CEO of STB Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, Principle Assistant Secretary Yusfida Binti Khalid

 

Rainforest Fringe Festival launches 2019 programme

The Rainforest Fringe Festival wrapped up its first press conference on May 14th at the Old Courthouse, launching its new programme in July 5 to 11.

The programme includes events like the ‘Asas Melayu’, which will feature the intricate beauty of Sarawak Keringkam and Songket, which is the Malay tradition of textiles stitched or woven with gold thread, in a fashion show with designs by acclaimed designers like Datuk Seri Bernard Chandran and Sarawak’s own Datuk Tom Abang Saufi, as well as Tanoti House of Kuching.

Also featured will be the Indigenous Film Festival Kuching, showcasing the indigenous culture of Sarawak, along with events like the tattoo exhibition ‘INK Kuching’, and the Song to the Earth which displays the dying art of Kayan song-poetry known as Parap.

The CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor said that “We are proud to showcase that Sarawak can be a hub of music tourism, unique cultural and arts experiences, and world-class festivals that are the best in the region. Rainforest Fringe Festival will showcase music, arts, crafts, photography, food and culture, both local and foreign, throughout Kuching City.

Sharzede added that the RFF is aiming to become a major cultural event in the region for expanding Sarawak’s repertoire as a music tourism destination, bringing attention to the state’s potential not only as festival location but as a destination that sees cultural preservation as one of its priorities.

The RFF is a prelude to the Rainforest World Music Festival on July 12-14 and Borneo Jazz Festival on July 19-21

For more information on the Rainforest Fringe Festival, log on to their website here.

Image shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second from left). Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin (left), Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor (second from right) and Jo Sidek (right)
Image shows the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second from left). Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin (left), Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor (second from right) and Jo Sidek (right)

 

#Urbins at the Rainforest World Music Festival

This year, the Rainforest World Music Festival will feature #UrBins (Urban + Bins).

This series of attractive and practical recycling bins designed by a group of local artists.

Submissions will be open to those currently residing in Sarawak until the end of RWMF2019 in July 2019, including international students and expatriates.

Each submission will include 2 design concepts, each with a separate description on how the design ties in with the United Nation’s “Sustainable Development Goal” (SDG) 11; which is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Designs will be posted publicly through an applicant’s Facebook post, where they must tag @Spativate, @SarawakTravel and @rwmf.official, as well as hashtag #UrBins, #RWMF2019 #BinsPlease and #MoreSarawak.

The design’s ‘promotion and submission’ phase will aid in educating the public on the SDG while promoting sustainability through creative design, and on the days of the Festival, the attractive designs of the bins will also help in drawing attention to their purpose and importance.

The 15 UrBinists will be short listed by a professional jury before their designs will be presented to the public to vote through Facebook, and the selected designs will be supplied green bins and seed money of RM300 to make their designs a reality.

For more information on submission, please visit the Spativate Facebook page here…

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Borneo Jazz Festival Talent Search Extended

During the Borneo Jazz Talent Search that took place at Coco Cabana, Miri on April 30th, founder of No Black Tie Evelyn Hii Yuh Lin, announced that there will be an extension to the date of the talent search audition till the end of May, finalists will be announced on first week of June.

The finalists from the Talent Search will go to the final round on July 19, while the official winners will receive a cash prize and the chance to perform on the Borneo Jazz stage.

The Borneo Jazz Talent Search was first held in 2018, while the DJ Talent Search is a new category, as part of the Festival’s musical outreach programme aimed at unearthing young and emerging artists from the Bornean region.

Fringe activities curated around Borneo Jazz Festival include an art exhibition, arts & crafts showcase, stalls with Bornean cuisine, wellness and sape’ sessions as well as workshops on indigenous culture.

This year, the festival is organised by No Black Tie, who have made it their objective to emphasise on the social responsibility towards recycling within the local community via the Borneo Jazz Beat Plastic Campaign.

The Borneo Jazz Festival is one of the longest running festivals in the region, this year being the 14th edition taking place from July 19 to 21 at Coco Cabana and is owned by Sarawak Tourism Board.

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Sarawak Music Festivals: Early Bird Tickets Extended

Early Bird Ticket sales have been extended for both the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching and Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri.

The RWMF early bird prices have been extended to May 7 while the Borneo Jazz Festival prices will stay up until June 21.

The RWMF takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and the Borneo Jazz Festival takes place on the following weekend from July 19-21 at Coco Cabana.

For more information, you can find the RWMF ticket prices here and the Borneo Jazz Festival ticket prices here.

Sarawak in the Malaysia Roadshow and New Products Seminar

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) collaborated with Tourism Malaysia in the recent Malaysia Roadshow and New Products Seminar in the cities of Perth, Sydney and Melbourne from 8 to 10 April 2019.

The Board highlighted the Visit Sarawak Campaign with its theme of Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals with focus of its new products of the Old Kuching City Heritage Trail and Sibu and the Central Region.

Also being showcased was Sarawak’s renowned music festivals, Rainforest World Music Festival which will be held from 12 to 14 July 2019 and the Borneo Jazz Festival from 19 to 21 July 2019.

STB is intensifying its marketing collaboration with Tourism Malaysia as well as trade partners in the long haul market of Europe, UK, Australia and the Nordic Region, to achieve the targeted visitor arrivals of 5 million for 2019.

Pauline Lim, Assistant Marketing Manager (Long Haul), Sarawak Tourism Board conducted the business session at the Tourism Malaysia Roadshow and New Products Seminar in Perth.
Pauline Lim, Assistant Marketing Manager (Long Haul), Sarawak Tourism Board conducted the business session at the Tourism Malaysia Roadshow and New Products Seminar in Perth.

3 Festivals, 1 Destination in the month of July

Sarawak becomes a festival frenzy in the month of July, and with that comes a promotional packages offering “3 Festival, 1 Destination”, bringing together three of Sarawak’s famous yearly festivals.

From July 5 to 12, the Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) will be held throughout the city of Kuching, featuring arts, crafts, film, photography, food and culture, and is the precursor to the Rainforest World Music Festival.

The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) takes place from July 12 to 15, and is the region’s largest World Music event, bringing over 20,000 festival goers a year. It features activities for children, cultural and musical sessions, food and crafts bazaars, wellness workshops and stunning performances.

The following weekend on July 19 to 21, the  Borneo Jazz Festival which is the longest running jazz event in the region, enters its 14th year in sun-soaked coastal city of Miri, on the Northern side of Sarawak. It features Jazz music, with its many subgenres from afro jazz to the blues.

For more information on the packages, visit here…

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Reef Balls for Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park

The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has completed its deployment of 1,750 reef balls into the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park, deploying the final batch of 600 on 26 March.

The reef ball deployment is part of an Eco-Marine Project implemented by SFC, in collaboration with PETRONAS, the National Oil and Gas Company, in an effort to protect and restore the natural reefs and marine life in the area from illegal trawling activities, while  at the same time creating a new diving site which can become an eco-tourism attraction.

Over time, the reef will continue to grow which will lead to more eco-tourism related job opportunities for the locals, including boat rentals, diving and snorkelling equipment training and rental, and tour operations.

While actively focusing on keeping the waters clear of illegal trawlers, SFC also hopes to increase the population of marine species within the area which will provide a consistent source of income for traditional fishermen living beyond of the national park, along the shorelines of the Miri-Sibuti.

In this way, these fishermen can support themselves and their families without resorting to illegal fishing practices due to low numbers of fish, and local communities can also benefit by lower prices for the marine produce supplied by these fishermen.

The Miri-Sibuti Marine National Park is one of Sarawak’s largest marine parks, home to many species such as sea turtles, whale sharks and coral reefs. The area is known as the ‘Sea Turtle Highway’, this National Park contributes to Malaysia’s conformance to the International Convention on Biological Diversity requirements for marine protected areas.

Image extracted from the recent video documenting the diving expedition to measure the progress of the BEACON project’s first batch of reef balls, deployed in 2015.
Image extracted from the recent video documenting the diving expedition to measure the progress of the BEACON project’s first batch of reef balls, deployed in 2015.

Kuching Heritage Week launched

The Kuching Heritage Week was launched over the weekend, aimed to introduce to visitors the historical and cultural sites within the Kuching City.

The heritage area, located around the city, is mainly centred around the Satok and Gambier Road and the stretch from the Main Bazaar to Padungan, areas considered to be the “old Kuching”.

Recent upgrades were made to the facilities in and around the area, including the completion of the new “floating mosque” or officially known as the Masjd Bandaraya, and tourist facilities upgrading to include the introduction of an electric bus to service the route passing through the major historical areas.

Also in the plan for future upgrading are the areas from the Brooke Dockyard reaching up to  the Kuching Waterfront and the Malay  villages around the area, including Kampung Masjid and Kampung Bintangor.

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