A Sarawak delegation led by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports’ Minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, attended the three-day East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forumin Tottori, Japan which concluded on August 12.
This was the 16th edition of EATOF with the theme ‘Sustainable Local Tourism Legacy Development’.
The delegation assured that Sarawak would contribute its best efforts to EATOF and its goals, while continuing to pull on its membership in several other regional cooperation platforms – specifically the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Social Economic Malaysia-Indonesia (Sosek Malindo), Sabah-Sarawak-Labuan Joint Tourism Coordination and Collaboration Committee (SSLJTCC), and Sarawak-Brunei Bilateral Cooperation Tourism Working Group – to develop collaborations and joint activities in marketing and promoting Sarawak as a tourism destination in the region.
Currently, EATOF has 10-member provinces – Sarawak (Malaysia), Cebu (the Philippines), Gangwon (South Korea), Jilin (China), Tuv (Mongolia), Tottori (Japan), Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Quang Ninh (Vietnam), Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Luang Prabang (Laos).
Sarawak will be MATTA fair’s “Malaysia’s Favourite Destination”. The fair will be held from September 7 to 9 at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
A team of 16 delegates consisting of travel agents, hotels and resorts as well as product owners will represent Sarawak at this MATTA fair second outing for the year with the first fair being held in March
Representing Sarawak are Kuching Holidays & Car Rental Sdn Bhd, Cooserv Travel & Tour, Greatown Travel Sdn. Bhd, Great Leap Tours, Sara Resorts Sdn. Bhd, The Waterfront Hotel, Borneo Highlands Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club Bhd, Tropical Adventure Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd, Hotel Grand Continental Kuching, Ecogreen Holidays, Brighton Travel & Tour Sdn. Bhd, Tune Hotel, Sarawak Cultural Village, Damai Beach Resort and Grand Margherita Hotel.
Special offers will include value for money tour packages and new products aimed to attract domestic visitors and tourists Sarawak.
The Sarawak Booth is located in Hall 5, booth numbers 5042-5046 and 5053 – 5057.
The 21st Rainforest World Music Festival recorded an attendance of 21,668, surpassing the set target attendance of 20,000.
Saturday was a booming success, reaching approximately 9,000 festival-goers.
This three-day Festival attracted travellers from all walks of life and countries of origin, with activities like concerts and mini sessions, parades and surprise performances, wellness activities and lifestyle workshops, in-depth traditional instrument tutorials, cultural snippets and film screenings as well as children’s sessions, all surrounded by the cultural houses, food and crafts of the Sarawak people.
Another attraction factor was the expansion of the Festival grounds to include Damai Central, where two additional stage areas were situated, for even more activities and performances.
For 2019, the festival will be held from July 12 to 14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village.
UCSI University held its homestay training programme ‘Sarawak Next Paradise Homestay’ at the Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Padawan, about 40 kilometers from Kuching on July 7.
It received over 350 participants including villagers and secondary school students with a group of lecturers and 40 students from the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management coordinated the programme with the aim of modelling better-qualified homestay operators.
The local operators were encouraged to provide more than lodging and to have provide tourism packages and activities connected to their homestay as well as to utilise the communicative power of social media for marketing purposes.
This programme was part and parcel of the University’s faculty’s corporate social responsibility efforts to help local villagers dependent on tourism in Padawan to have a share in the hospitality industry business.
Four workshops, ‘Guidelines of Homestay Operations’, ‘Activities and Attractions’, ‘Maintenance and Facilities’, and ‘Safety and Environment’ was held for the training period.
If anything were to give indication of how successful the 21st edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival held for the weekend this year, it must be the number of audience that came to flood the venue on Saturday night.
It was packed and the crowd went wild over the stage performance until the show by a local Sarawak group “At Adau.”
As the carrying capacity for the venue, the Sarawak Cultural Village, stands at 8,000 people, it reached that saturation number.
All went well as the Event Director, Madam Angelina Bateman said “We’ve seen amazing crowds this year and we hope to close our 2018 chapter with a bang.”
The Malaysia Gohan Kai, Malaysia Cuisine Restaurant and Midin Events Company organised a Sarawak cuisine sharing session in Tokyo recently, with door gifts sponsored by the Sarawak Tourism Board.
46 Japanese nationals gathered at the restaurant to participate, an overwhelming response with participants from previous Malaysian cuisine sharing sessions.
‘Tuak’ or rice wine was served, while Sarawak specialities like Sarawak Laksa, three-layer tea and pepper were also introduced at the event.
Oto Furukawa, the speaker for the sharing session, was introduced to Mitsumasa Hamano, Hikaru Yokoyama, Mika Yonaha and Yuta Nitanai — participants of a student exchange programme from Japan who had their internship in Sarawak with the Sarawak Tourism Board who brought recordings of their personal gastronomic adventures in Sarawak.
Another speaker at the event, Jun Tanaka, who revealed that he visited Sarawak nearly 10 times and was ‘head over heels’ with the unique Sarawakian palates, particularly Sarawak Laksa, as well as the friendliness of Sarawakian people.
Jun’s love for Sarawak encouraged him to promote Sarawak and its food on social media and even published a limited edition Sarawak cuisine booklet on his own initiative.
At the event, Hikaru, who had an eight-month internship at a local travel agency in Kuching, performed the sape (Bornean Boat-lute), adding to the Sarawakian ambiance at the session.
The inaugural Sarawak Golf Championship is set to take place from July 4 to 7 at Damai Golf and Country Club, featuring over 150 of the region’s top golfers including 25 Malaysian pros.
This new international golfing event, supported by Sarawak’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, will also showcase the State tourism attractions through the match with highlights on TV and digital media to be broadcasted in China, India, Japan and Korea, and in all ASEAN countries.
According to the Asian Tour Chief Executive Officer, Josh Burack, this event is the fourth to be sanctioned in Malaysia for 2018 aside from the EurAsia Cup, the Maybank Championship and the CIMB Classic.
This year, the Rainforest World Music Festival brings the music to you with a roadshow to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, where you get to watch traditional performances, play Augmented Reality games and win tickets to the Festival.
The roadshow begins in from June 20 to 24 at the Curve in Kuala Lumpur, then later from June 25 to 26 at Suria KL.
Next stop from June 29 to July 1 is Suria Sabah Mall in KK, before ending back in Kuching at Plaza Merdeka from July 6 to 8.
At Adau will be featured at the roadshow playing a fusion of Orang Ulu and Dayak tunes with traditional instruments like the ‘Sape’ or boat lute of Borneo.
Approximately 80 contingents from different Dayak associations from throughout Borneo and representing those from Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei will be joining Sarawak’s various Dayak associations during the ‘Nitih Daun’ procession during the Gawai Dayak celebration to be held in Kuching on June 22.
This year’s festival will be hosted by the Iban community and is expected to draw 3,200 participants.
The‘Nitih Daun’ was last held was in the 1980s, and this year many Sarawakians, it will be their first time attending or participating in it.
The Gawai celebrations this year will begin with cultural performances and pre-concert events on June 21 to be held at the Kuching Waterfront, followed by the procession starting from Tun Jugah building towards the Waterfront on June 22.
In conjunction with State-wide Gawai celebrations on June 23, the Gawai Bazaar 2018 programme will also be held in Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and Kuching.
The domestic air fare between the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak will be more affordable with the doing away of the Good and Services Tax (GST) and will augur well for domestic tourism, said the president of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)Datuk Tan Kok Lian, during an interview recently.
Thus he lauded the federal Government’s decision to have the GST abolish effective June 1.
“The 0% GST is bound to promote spending by both locals and tourists, especially in terms of shopping as well as food and beverage, thus potentially increasing the price appeal of Malaysia as a travel destination,” Datuk Tan explained.
Domestic travelling is a huge part of Sarawak’s tourism industry, as Sarawak received 2,217,366 domestic visitors last year alone, which translates to a 45.7 percent of Sarawak’s total arrivals.