KUCHING – Sarawak is taking the next step to pursue digital tourism and with the launch of the Sarawak Travel App and Portal, the state’s vision in digitalising the tourism industry is still on track.
The launch ceremony took place at the Imperial Hotel Kuching on February 19, 2020, attended by various government and corporate agencies, as well as the media.
“The digitalisation of the tourism industry aspires to allow seamless travel experience for both domestic and international tourists to Sarawak, which would fit into the State’s Visit Sarawak Campaign”, said the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“It will also showcase Sarawak’s diverse culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals in mobile application and web portal, presenting them through virtual and augmented reality capabilities. The app can act as a virtual guide for tourists, which includes getting information about the destinations, bookings, transactions and reviews about the places they have visited,” he added.
The Sarawak Travel App and Web Portal is a strategic partnership and collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), and University Malaysia Sarawak, which aims to digitalise major components of Sarawak tourism industry.
The app is now available for download in the mobile apps store.
MIRI – The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching has been awarded the World Excellence Tourism Awards 2020, under the Sustainable Tourism Programme category.
It was announced by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg during the launch of the Love Hornbills Day, held on February 15, 2020 at the Piasau Nature Reserve, Miri.
“This means that the world recognises us, the state and the government of Sarawak, for our responsibility and concern in nature conservation. This is not just at a Malaysian level, but the whole world. I am very proud and honoured that this award has indicated Sarawak’s success in our orangutan conservation efforts,” he said.
The award will be presented to Sarawak Forestry Corporation in Germany, this March, as a recognition of and to reward those who have contributed to elevating the country’s tourism industry.
BINTULU – By the end of February, Sarawak hopes to bring back the skeletal remains and ancient relics dug up in Niah Cave, dated over 40,000 years ago, which are kept currently at the University of Florida in the United States.
It was announced by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology (CALA) 2020, held on February 5 to 8, this year.
“It’s exciting, especially for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak and I’m interested in it. We have a lot to offer in this industry and we have a huge museum, the second largest in Southeast Asia that will be launched in Kuching later this year,” he said.
For many years since Sarawak’s historical heritage has been kept far away from its origin, Sarawak is hoping that with the good deed of University of Florida, they would be able to bring it back, as there are more appropriate universities and museums available in the State now.
“There will also be a signing ceremony for the restoration of Sarawak’s historical heritage by the end of February and there will also be an international conference organized by museums that is more specific to caves and achievements in Southeast Asia by the end of 2020,” he added.
KUCHING – Sarawak’s iconic event, the Rainforest World Music Festival has once again managed to secure a position in the Transglobal World Music Chart (TWCM) Festival Awards 2019, emerging at No.8 in the “Global Top 10” category.
TWMC launched their Festival Awards for the first time in 2018 with a goal to inspire appreciation towards music from the different cultures of the world and as a tool to develop music scenario of people in many areas of life.
During the winning announcement, Transglobal World Music Chart co-founder and Festival Awards coordinator Araceli Tzigane Sánchez said that after the evaluation of the previous edition, at least one of the festivals that repeated this year has improved, following their assessment.
The 2019 RWMF closed with 23,650 festival goers, featuring 30 bands and over 200 performers at the Theatre Stage, Emerging Band Stage and also at the mini sessions.
This year’s Rainforest World Music Festival will be held from July 10 to 12, 2020, at Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Sarawak.
For more information and updates on the festival, visit the official website at https://rwmf.net/.
SRI AMAN – The resort management of Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat is glad to inform that they will continue to operate as usual despite their renovation process which will take place starting April 1, 2020.
However, the resort will be partially closed in stages for renovation with minimal interruption to in-house guests.
All pending room blockings will be honoured and the contract rate for 2020/2021 will be issued with new rates, terms and conditions according to the management of Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat.
For more information and enquiries, visit the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat official website at https://www.aimanbatangai.com or contact Mr. Edward Minggat, the Resort Operation Manager at +6013-851 1224.
KUCHING – The cruise ship Silver Spirit berthed on the morning of January 1, 2020 at the Senari Port, Kuching.
A total of 595 cruise passengers mainly from Australia and Europe were accorded with a Sarawak traditional cultural welcoming and garlanding, supported by Sarawak Tourism Board.
The passengers were offered shore excursions to some of the tourist attractions such as the Annah Rais Longhouse and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Sarawak River Cruise and also a trip to Sarawak Cultural Village, to experience the nature and the diverse culture of Sarawak.
The Silver Spirit is operated under the luxury cruise line Silver Sea, which operates to more than 900 destinations with 11 ultra-luxury cruises.
Sarawak is expected to receive a total of 15 cruise ships this year.
Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) signed the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with ATS Global Travel and Charter Sdn Bhd and the Hainan Airlines Holding Company Limited on December 30, paving way for better connectivity to the State.
The Chairman of STB, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz signed on behalf of the Board with Mr. Mohd Sharom Mabul who signed for ATS Global Travel and Charter and Mr. Yang Lei who signed the document representing the Hainan Airlines.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Honorable Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. Hii Chang Kee.
The MOU specified proposal by ATS Global Travel and Charter to make Kuching as an alternative regional Umrah hub while Hainan Airlines had proposed to launch its direct Haikou-Kuching- Haikou flight in 2020.
Sarawak Tourism Board will participate in 27 marketing initiatives, consisting trade and consumer fairs, roadshows and sales mission in its focus markets in 2020.
Among the notable fairs, where STB will be joined by the Sarawak trade partners, include MATKA Nordic Fair, Helsinki in January, Flight Centre Travel Expo in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and the Guangzhou International Travel Fair in February respectively, ITB Berlin in March, MATTA Fairs in March and September in Kuala Lumpur, ITB Mumbai in April and ITB Shanghai in May, and ITB Singapore in October and WTM London in November.
STB will also be conducting its own roadshows with its partners in the major cities in Australia, Germany, Holland, China and in West Malaysia.
These marketing initiatives offers platform for Sarawak trade partners to meet up with potential international business associates for business and networking sessions getting to know more about the destination and its product experiences.
SINGAPORE – EAT.CHIAK.MAKAN, a dedicated Kuching food trail guide for Singaporean, was officially launched on December 3.
As a promotion initiative undertaken by the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (STATOS), the guide features various Sarawak favourite delicacies as well as over 70 local eateries ranging from restaurants to coffee shops in Kuching.
“EAT.CHIAK.MAKAN is devoted to foodies from across Singapore as we recognise that we cannot separate Singaporeans from their love of food and we hope to entice them with Sarawak’s wealth of mouth-watering delicacies,” said STATOS Chairman, Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Haji Abdul Ghani at the launch of the event.
The food trail is available for download at STATOS website at statos.com.sg and the booklet is available at STATOS Office in Singapore.
KUCHING: Sarawak is proud to announce its hosting of the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2020 to be held in Kuching from November 25 to 27, 2020.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the conclusion of the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2019 in Pattaya, Bangkok, Thailand.
“Aligning with PATA’s advocacy theme of tourism dispersal, this event will shine the spotlight on a side of Asia unlike anywhere else, as Sarawak offers an alternative for those seeking humble authenticity, far from the tourist-trap clichés”, said PATA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mario Hardy.
Organized by The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the event will feature two non-stop days of learning, which gathers the top minds in destination travel for inspiring and insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations.
Alongside the one-day conference that brings together high-profile tourism professionals worldwide, the one-day Technical Tour offers an immersive experience of the host destination – a showcase of a lesser-known yet attractive corner of the world and an unprecedented opportunity to explore the region’s natural landscapes and cultural treasures.