Newest Family Member

The Orangutans of Semenggoh Wildlife Centre welcomed their newest family member, bringing the number of free-ranging orangutan up to 30.

The birth is believed to have happened on March 22, to 16 year old orangutan Sadamiah, who previously gave birth to a female orangutan Ruby five years ago.

The baby is yet to be named.

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Borneo Jazz 2018

The iconic Borneo Jazz festival in Miri is back and better than ever, with extended dates, a new venue and Zainal Abidin Mohamad as one of the performers.

The festival will now be held on 11 to 13 May, extending to three days instead of the usual two.

The new location has been announced, at Coco Cabana at the Marina Bay in Miri, a seaside location with an iconic seahorse lighthouse.

Having performed at the Borneo Jazz launch at Coco Cabana on March 21, internationally renowned artiste Zainal Abidin will be returning to Miri to perform during the festival.

Festival tickets are now available at https://jazzborneo.com/programme/tickets-info/

The Borneo Jazz is wholly owned by Sarawak Tourism Board and organised by No Black Tie Presents.00

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Sarawak Performance at MATTA Fair

Kuching and Mulu have topped the list as the most sought after destinations in the state for domestic travellers at the recent MATTA Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) which was on March 16-18.

These were followed by Batang Ai, Bario and Ba’Kelalan, Sibu, the Sarawak Cultural Village, Serikin border market, Niah National Park as well as Bidayuh longhouses.

There were also number of honeymoon couples looking for nature attractions, particularly enquiring for the the Batang Ai Honeymoon packages, with Bako National Park and Mulu National Park as close seconds.

Amogha Tours and Travel, with support from Sarawak Tourism Board, showcased its Virtual Reality Teaser Tour of Sarawak in an attempt to increase visibility and interest of potential customers, resulting in an increase in sales as compared to last year.

Ashweein Narayanan, its executive director their sales at a 68.9% increase as compared to the previous MATTA fair.

“This goes without saying that having digital marketing initiatives such as Virtual Reality tours, as marketing tools is very effective and brings the scalability of the tourism sector to new levels of profitability and visibility,” Ashweein said.

The Sarawak Pavilion demonstrated various cultural related activities such as dance performance, blowpipe games, live Sape music as well as traditional cookies tasting, with many visitors taking pictures with performers.

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Photo of Malaysia Airlines air stewardesses posing with the traditional performers at the Sarawak Pavilion

Rare Plant Rediscovered in Sarawak

The thismia neptunis, one of the rarest plants in the world last seen in 1866, was rediscovered on the riverbank of the Matang Massif late last year.

Thanks to the drawings of Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari, who spotted it in the same area in 1866, the plant was identified.

The discovery was made under the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-rich Areas in Sarawak (Rimba) programme, which is a collective research effort between the Sarawak Forestry Corporation and international institutions dedicated to research in biodiversity.

Photo credit: The Star Online. Image of the thismianeptunis
Photo credit: The Star Online. Image of the thismia neptunis

Wings Air Now Flies to Miri

Wings Air flew into Miri Airport from Pontianak for its inaugural flight on March 15 at 6.20pm and making a return trip at 6.50pm.

The starting price for tickets is at RM163.00, available online at www.malindoair.com and www.lionair.co.id

The flight arrives just in time to bolster Miri’s Visit Miri Year 2018 campaign, as they promote the attractions and international events like the AfroLatinFiestaand BorneoJazz, Mulu National Park and the Bario Highlands.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin expressed his excitement for the new flight, saying that the flights will further strengthen the relationship between Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia, not only in the joint promotion of nature and culture tourism but also in business.

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Image taken at Wings Air Pontianak-Kuching inaugural flight to Kuching in January this year.

Sports Take Centre-stage in 2019

Sports will take centre-stage in Sarawak tourism for 2019 as the World Para Swimming Championships and the 21st Asia Masters Athletics Championships are set to be held in Kuching.

The World Para Swimming Championship will take place on July 29 to August 4 at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre, drawing an estimated attendance of 800 athletes and 400 officials from 80 countries.

The Asia Masters Athletics Championship to be held at the Sarawak Stadium from December 2 to 6 and is expected to draw 3,500 entries from around 30 countries.

These high profile events will set a precedent for international sports events in Sarawak, particularly para sports, as the sports and hospitality facilities are now focusing on increasing their accessibility.

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Pontianak – Kuching Wings Air Inaugural Flight

The Wings Air Pontianak-Kuching- Pontianak inaugural flight on January 24 has given better options to Indonesian visitors travelling into Kuching.

Flying twice daily leaving Pontianak at 9:45 am and 6:00 pm, the 45 minute flight time augurs well especially for those seeking medical treatment in Kuching giving them a day trip option.

Wings Air is a subsidiary of Lions Air which operates daily flight into Pontianak thus giving options to Indonesian to connect their flight to Kuching on same day.

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Visit Miri Year 2018, “Discover Miri, Uniquely Borneo”

The Visit Miri Year 2018 (VMY2018) logo and tagline “Discover Miri, Uniquely Borneo” were unveiled at the Miri Marriot Resort and Spa on November 30th last year.

In addition to the tagline, Miri City Council announced their intention to utilise modern digital platform such as social media, search engine optimisation, mobile apps, online hotel platforms and online digital marketing to promote the VMY2018.

Following the unveiling of the VMY 2018 logo, the new version of Miri App v1.1.which features information on tourist attractions, eateries, accommodation, transportation and other useful visitors’ information was released. It can be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cst.miriapp

Miri will see roughly 30 new events next year including the opening of the Miri Handicraft Centre, 40th anniversary celebration of Malaysia Dragon Temple Krokop 5, the International Conference on Sustainable Building Asia, Sarawak Native Festival, South East Asia Poet Convention and a pet expo.

The signature events of Miri will continue, with dates set for the Borneo Jazz Festival, Miri Country Music Fest, AfroLatin Conference, Miri Colours Rush Run, Miri International Marathon Run and Bazaar Gong Xi.

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Sarawak Tourism Board Focus on Digital Marketing

Sarawak Tourism Board is prepared to be the first agency to bring the Tourism sector into the digital economy.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of STB, Mary Wan Mering said starting this year, STB would beimplementing marketing strategies leveraging on Information Technology (IT) and the internet to the fullest.

The strategies are in line with the State Government’s new direction into the digital economy.

Working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, STB plans to help local tourism partners moving their products and services online, particularly within rural longhouse homestay owners.

Sunset view of the Sarawak River in Kuching
Sunset view of the Sarawak River in Kuching