Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards in Asia

Kuching City has ranked eighth place as a rising destination on TripAdvisor’s 2016 Traveller’s Choice Awards for all of Asia.

The award recognises 43 destinations on the rise all around the world, using algorithms that measure TripAdvisor traveller reviews and ratings throughout the world over the course of the year.

“We hope these winning lists will inspire those planning trips in 2017 to consider booking their holidays with some of these rising destinations, be it Baku, Da Lat or Kuching,” said Communications Director of TripAdvisor Asia Pacific, Ms Janice Lee Fang.

These destinations are rapidly gaining global popularity among travel communities.

Kuching solidified its eight place slot through its high ratings in enriching experiences through immersive displays of local heritage, especially through attractions such as the museums and the longhouses of the local ethnic groups.

Reviews of the Sarawak Cultural Village, known as a living museum, as well as the easily booked centrally-located hotels like the LimeTree Hotel also aided in the ranking.


Photo shows sunset over the Kuching Waterfront.
Photo shows sunset over the Kuching Waterfront.

Sarawak and Chinese Media to Promote Sarawak Tourism

The Sarawak State Government will collaborate with different media agencies from China through Beijing AOWEI Media Sdn Bhd to promote Sarawak as the preferred tourist destination.

This coming year, new initiatives such as the Malaysia – China Chinese New Year Night and China Avenue of Stars Grand Convert will be held in Kuching, with the celebrities and popular social media influencers documenting their visit on social media to their fans throughout that time.

“Eight popular singers from China will be making their appearances as well at the concert. During the same period, there will also be film shoot at different locations in the state by producers from China,” said the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim, who met recently with the AOWEI Media group.

Datuk Lee disclosed that four of China’s top models, managed by Fashion TV, were in Kuching recently and visited various places in Kuching for Photo-shoot, proving that this avenue of advertising through popular spokespeople has a very wide viewership.

Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and Acting CEO of STB, Mary Wan Mering were present during the meeting with the Beijing AOWEI officials to discuss the future of Sarawak’s promotion in China.

Sarawak and Chinese Media to Promote Sarawak Tourism
Datuk Lee (fifth from left) receives souvenir from Beijing AOWEI media Sdn Bhd Director, Luo Jing on his right with Datu Ik on his left. Mary Wan stands third from left, with other AOWEI members. Photo credit: New Sarawak Tribune

Sarawak Tourism Board Celebrates 21st Anniversary

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) celebrated its 21st Anniversary on November 18, with their Staff Appreciation Night as a highlight of the celebration

The night was attended by members of the Tourism Industry including the Minister and Assistant Ministers of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, current and former Board of Directors, current and former-chairmen as well as the local media.

During the celebration, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg gave Long Service Award to eight members of staff, as well as the Excellent Service Award, for their tireless loyalty and service to the Board and the tourism industry.

Assisting him in handing out the awards are Assistant Minister for Tourism Sarawak, Datuk Dr. Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister for Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk John Sikie ak Tayai, the Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Urbanisation Sarawak and former chairman, Datuk Haji Talib Bin Zulpilip as well as current Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz

 The Long Service Awardees include Mdm. Mary Wan Mering, Puan Mastura Morshidi, Mr. Luan Jenggi, Mr. Yusup Labo, Mr. Jessie Mengka, Mr. Jefri Marsit, Puan Nujaimi Laudin and Puan Angela Linsam.

The Excellent Service Award was awarded to Mdm. Mary Wan Mering, Mr. Maurice Balang, Mr. Michael Lu and Pn. Suria Bt. Mohd. Razali for their outstanding service to the Board.

Picture shows Datuk Amar (fifth from left) with Datuk Lee on his right and from his left are Datuk Sikie, Datuk Abdul Wahab and Datuk Talib, and the recipients of the Excellent Service Award.
Picture shows Datuk Amar (fifth from left) with Datuk Lee on his right and from his left are Datuk Sikie, Datuk Abdul Wahab and Datuk Talib, and the recipients of the Excellent Service Award.


UNWTO Honorary General Secretary Visits Mulu National Park

The Honorary Secretary-General to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Francesco Frangialli arrived in Mulu for a visit to Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on November 15 to 17.

His trip was initiated by the Assistant Minister for Tourism Sarawak, Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

During his stay, which was hosted by the Sarawak Tourism Board, Frangialli took a guided tour of the Park’s rainforest and the four show caves, which are the Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Wind Cave and the Clearwater Cave.

“I’ve been to many caves in my life, but none as impressive as this” Said Frangialli as he expressed his awe when he was presented to the Deer Cave’s main passage.

Mulu National Park obtained its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, becoming one of the few sites displaying four ‘World Heritage’ with an outstanding example of major changes in the earth’s history, a scene of exceptional natural beauty, a site that supports one of the richest congregations of flora to be found in any area of comparable size in the world, it has provided significant scientific opportunities for research on the flora of the site, specifically the origins of over 200 recorded species of cave fauna in Mulu National Park’s caves.

The Mulu National Park remains one of Sarawak’s prime tourist destination as it displays the three core traits of Sarawak tourism: culture, adventure and nature.

Picture shows Mr. Frangialli at the mouth of the Deer Cave in Mulu National Park.
Picture shows Mr. Frangialli at the mouth of the Deer Cave in Mulu National Park.
Picture shows a National Park guide giving elaborations on the local flora of the Mulu National Park Mr. Frangialli (left)
Picture shows a National Park guide giving elaborations on the local flora of the Mulu National Park Mr. Frangialli (left)

Chinese Tourists To Miri Awarded Special Entry

Sarawak will now be allowing Chinese tourists to pass through the Miri International Airport as well as the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) facility in Sungai Tujuh border to Brunei using a Special Entry Pass, effective immediately.

Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg has expressed his continued endorsement in the wake of an influx of Chinese tourists to the state and has announced that all ICQS facilities should be equipped with these Special Entry Passes for convenience.

The purpose of the passes is to ease the travel of tourists from China throughout the state, as currently Kuching is only entry point to Sarawak equipped with Visa-On-Arrival facilities.

These passes are mutually beneficial for Sarawak and Brunei as it coincides with Brunei’s current campaign to attract more tourists from China and tourists can now move easily between Miri and Brunei with little hassle.

Sarawak is expecting to see growing arrival and demands for chartered flights to and from China in the wake of these Special Entry Passes, eliminating the tediousness of pre-travel Visa applications.

Sarawak To Participate At The Macau Food Festival

Sarawak’s favourite  delicacies like  Laksa, Manok Pansuh,  Kolo Mee and Kampua Mee are some of the dishes set to be featured at the upcoming 16th Macau Food Festival held at the Sai Van Lake Square from November 11th to 27th 2016.

The Sarawak delegation, to be led by Mr. Goh Ah Seng from the How Yu Kuching Chef Association, will take up 18 out of the 25 stalls allocated for Malaysia.

A Sarawak tourist information counter to provide information on Sarawak attractions will also be featured at the booth.

A Sarawak cultural troupe   will feature ethnic and traditional presentation at the stage show to be presented at the main stage during the duration of the food festival.

“Due to the close proximity of Macau from Hong Kong, this is a perfect platform for us to showcase our attractions to the people of Macau, as they can take the direct flights from Hong Kong to Kuching by Hongkong Airlines.” said the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

Photo shows Datuk Lee Kim Shin (third from left) during the press conference on 16th Macau Food Festival
Photo shows Datuk Lee Kim Shin (third from left) during the press conference on 16th Macau Food Festival

Sarawak Outshines At ITB Asia

Sarawak delegation comprising twelve industry partners has expressed satisfaction with the outcomes from the  recent outing at ITB Asia 2016, indicating they are most definitely going to participate again next year.

Satisfied with the buyers’ quality met during the set appointment by organisers, they expressed satisfaction with the overall organisation and Sarawak brand prominence at the three day fair. 

With a significant interest from eight industry members in which participated in the fair in 2015, this year additional four partners joined the Sarawak booth thus putting on the shelves for buyers a more diverse packages including the cycling and kayaking tours.

Sarawak also hosted a cocktail reception on Thursday, October 20 with the presence of the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who was present to extend support to the industry partners throughout the whole three day of the fair and at the same time joining the engagement sessions with Singaporean tourism partners.

For ITB Asia 2017 which  will be from 25th to 27th October, interested industry members are encourage to prebook their participation with information may be obtainable from  Gustino Basuan at  email: [email protected]

Photo shows STB’s booth at ITB Asia

Rainforest World Music Festival Presented At World Music [email protected]

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) was invited to be part of the 2016 World Music [email protected] which was a government-supported event by the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, Taiwan from October 21-23, 2016.

STB was represented by the Director of Events & Corporate Relations, Angelina Patricia Bateman. Angelina together with two speakers, Eunha Kim of Asia Culture Centre, Korea and Franki Raden, prominent Indonesian composer, ethnomusicologist, cultural critic and festival organizer were given the opportunity to present about ‘The Practical Details of Presenting a Music Festival’.

 “This was an inaugural festival and it was a great opportunity for us to share our experience in organizing the Rainforest World Music Festival,” said Angelina.

Besides presentations, there were showcase musician performance from Taiwan, USA, Portugal, Japan and China.

“There will be a small committee of Asian World Music Forum to be set-up to share ideas and bands exchange for the festival within the region,” added Angelina.

Photo shows Angelina Bateman (left) with 2016 World Music - Festival@Taiwan presenters - Photo credit to WMF@Taiwan Facebook
Photo shows Angelina Bateman (left) with 2016 World Music – [email protected] presenters – Photo credit to [email protected] Facebook

20th Rainforest World Music Festival At WOMEX 2016

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is presenting the 20th installment of its annual event, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from October 20-23.

The RWMF will be celebrating its 20th edition next year at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai, on the 14-16 July, with plans on making the Festival celebration bigger than ever.

With the interactive afternoon workshops, the audience has the opportunity to learn, understand and play the indigenous musical instruments from the performers during the day and later on witness and appreciate its beauty during the nightly performances.

As a supporter of all ethnic arts, including the culinary arts, festival-goers are able to taste a variety of local and fusion cuisine from the Village Food Mart.

They will also be able to buy local beaded, woven, painted or carved handicrafts or witness their creation, or even get a traditional hand-tap tattoo at the nearby Tattoo Expo.

The festival, one of its kind in the region, has attracted over 20,000 returning foreign and domestic attendees and has been awarded Songlines’ Top 25 Best International Festivals award six years in a row since 2010.

Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz, Chairman of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) said, “We want to stage the uniqueness of world music by bringing in performers from other parts of the world and also to showcase our own ethnic music and to provide them with an opportunity to perform amidst international bands.”

“More innovative ideas are already in the works for our coming 20th Rainforest World Music Festival next year.” said Angelina Bateman, Director of Events & Corporate Relations of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).

While the performance plans remain a surprise, the Board’s efforts in publicising the Festival are not, with promotions happening at various tourism and travel trade fairs around the world such as ITB Asia in Singapore, World Travel Mart in London, Taipei International Travel Fair in Taiwan and the Asian MICE Forum in Taiwan.

The Festival encourages the appreciation of ethnic art and music from around the world, as well as new interpretations and integration of those arts within modern expression, and it is now brining these values to the world stage.

Updates on the Festival as well as tickets can be found online at the Rainforest World Music Festival official website,

This event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC) and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines Berhad as the presenting sponsor.

Photo shows Maurice Balang (middle) and Sarren Michael (right) of STB having discussion with one of the bands manager
Photo shows Maurice Balang (middle) and Sarren Michael (right) of STB having discussion with one of the bands manager


Buso To Be A Heritage Town

The century old Buso bazaar and its surrounding village will be another heritage attraction for the State.

Located about 45 minutes’ drive from the city centre, the attractions include wooden structure shop houses and a typical river boat ride connecting the town from the main road.

Buso town is of historical significance, of which among others, it was a place of refuge during World War II.

The town is mainly populated by a mixed racial composition of Chinese, Malays and Bidayuh communities.

Photo shows Kampung Seberang Buso – a Malay village across Sungai Sarawak Kanan.

Photo credit to Borneo Post.