Sarawak Representatives at ITB ASIA

Sarawak Tourism Board and six travel agencies, product owners and hoteliers from Sarawak will be meeting international sellers at booth number C05 at ITB Asia 2018, which is being held from 17 to 19 October at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The industry partners include the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Straits Central Travel & Tour Agencies, Kuching Holidays & Car Rental, Pullman Miri Waterfront & Pullman Kuching, Greatown Travel, and CPH Travel Agencies.

ITB Asia is Asia’s leading travel trade show, with 940 exhibitors, 951 buyers and over 11,000 delegates participating from over 110 countries across all segments of MICE, Corporate and Leisure travel.

Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival

Jazz lovers and enthusiast had a grand time celebrating the second edition of the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (KWJF) over the weekend of September 28 to 29.

As the first outdoor jazz festival overlooking the Sarawak River, the KWJF has received great reception for the two years, thanks to its entertaining local and international performers’ line up.

KWJF2018 featured jazz talents including Dayang Nurfaizah (Sarawak), Sang Voyage (Sarawak), Jolynn J Chin (Sarawak), Tuku Kame Jazz (Sarawak), Malaysia, Atilia Haron (Malaysia), Aisyah Aziz (Malaysia), Blues Gang (Malaysia), Alemay Fernandez (Singapore), Natalie Gillespie Band (Australia) and Carmen Souza Trio (Portugal).

The first KWJF in 2017 and recorded about 4, 000 festival-goers.

The Blues Gang performing on the KWJF stage. Photo credit: mikhauLLU
The Blues Gang performing on the KWJF stage. Photo credit: mikhauLLU

Launch of Ranee: Margaret of Sarawak

The museum exhibit named “Ranee: Margaret of Sarawak” was officially  launched  by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah on September 28 at the Old Court House in Kuching.

Curated by the Brooke Trust, the exhibit centres on the life, legend and legacy of Margaret de Windt, wife of the second Rajah Brooke, who became the queen of Sarawak at the age of 19.

This exhibition will be a permanent museum fixture in Kuching, providing insight into Ranee Margaret’s life through paintings, music, literature and craft.

As Ranee for nearly half a century, one of her greatest contributions to the state was her appreciation for skills such as songket weaving and keringkam embroidery, leading her to be a patron to such crafts, having her personal collection which can now be shared in this exhibit.  


Fort Hose Closes for Restoration

Fort Hose in Marudi will be closed for two years as from November 5 for restoration works.

Fort Hose was named after Marudi’s most famous administrator, naturalist, ethnographer and pioneer photographer, Charles Hose and it  is just one of the 14 forts still standing from the era of the Brookes, with many more having been dismantled or destroyed.

Marudi is situated on the northern bank of the Baram river about 80 km from Miri city, and is a major trading  town supplying goods to  most of Sarawak’s northern interior.


Sarawak Tourism Board Hosts PATA Luncheon

Sarawak Tourism Board’s (STB) Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz, hosted a luncheon for officials and delegates for the 2018 PATA Travel Mart which was held in Langkawi on September 13.

The function was attended by  guests which include the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik and PATA Chairman, Dr Chris Bottrill.

At the luncheon, guests were entertained by Sarawak traditional dancing troupe taking to the stage to showcase the traditional dances of the different ethnic groups as well as a destination promotional video screening throughout the event.


Sarawak Targeting 4.8 million visitors

With Sarawak’s recognition as “Malaysia’s Favourite Destination” at the September’s Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair, Sarawak Tourism Board is now confident of achieving the target set at 4.8 million visitors’ arrival this year.

This is the second year in a row Sarawak is bestowed with this title, the first being in the MATTA September fair last year.

As Malaysia’s largest consumer fair, STB will work with MATTA’s Sarawak Chapter to leverage on this consumer forum to push new packages and introduce variety of Sarawak tourism experiences to West Malaysian.

“Places such as Sibu,  Mukah and the fishing village Kabong and the interior of central Sarawak ought to give visitors an idea of our rich diversified cultures and abundance of  local heritage,” Benedict Jimbau, Director of Marketing for Sarawak Tourism Board said  during the MATTA Fair press conference on August 29 at MATTA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Sarawak offers a value for money experiences where nature and cultural experiences and  are at its best and the State is set to receive more arrivals from the domestic markets for the coming year end holiday season, he added. 

The Sarawak Pavilion  is located at Hall 5, Booth (# 5042 – 5046 and 5053 – 5057) with  14 booths  taken by Sarawak agents and hotels promoting every tour imaginable, from its culinary to self-drive holidays, rainforest kayaking and adventure caving.

There will be grand lucky draws at the pavilion and also daily lucky draws for those buying packages.

MATTA Fair will take place on Sept 7-9 at the Putra World Trade Centre.

© MATTA Fair Kuala Lumpur FB Page
© MATTA Fair Kuala Lumpur FB Page

STB is now at Aurora Plaza

Sarawak Tourism Board office has moved to its new office located at the 4th floor, Aurora Plaza, Jalan MacDougall

This is the third time that the office moved, from Wisma Satok, where it found its first home in 1995 before moving to the 5th to7th  floor at Bangunan Yayasan in 2002.

Now, centrally located along the main street of Jalan McDougall, the new office   is surrounded by landmarks like the Sarawak State Museum, St Thomas’s Cathedral, adjacent to Merdeka Palace Hotel and a short walk from Carpenter Street and Padang Merdeka.

To celebrate the official opening of the  new office, a plaque signing ceremony  officiated by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was held  on August 28.

Also present were the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Board’s Chairman Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz and tourism industry partners.

“This is where we spend most of our time, this is our nest, networking and discussions centres among our staff and the industry players and we welcome partners to use our office, our doors are open, come and share your ideas with us,” Mary Wan, Acting Chief Executive Officer said during her speech.

Seen in the photo, Mdm Mary Wan Mering presented a souvenir to Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Also present to his right is Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Datuk Snowdan Lawan and Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz with Sarawak Tourism Board’s officers.
Seen in the photo, Mdm Mary Wan Mering presented a souvenir to Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Also present to his right is Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Datuk Snowdan Lawan and Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz with Sarawak Tourism Board’s officers.


Sarawak Delegation to East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF)

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 Forum in 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 is “Malaysia’s Favourite Destination” at coming MATTA Fair

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.

Cultural performance at MATTA KL 2018 in March.
Cultural performance at MATTA KL 2018 in March.

Rainforest World Music Festival Surpasses Target Attendance

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.

  Ecstatic crowds exceeding 9000 people on Saturday (14 July) at the Rainforest World Music Festival
Ecstatic crowds exceeding 9000 people on Saturday (14 July) at the Rainforest World Music Festival