SIBU – Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (BLNR) will be gazetted as ‘Urban Green Area’, as part of Sarawak’s effort in conserving the State’s natural habitat, while developing Sibu town.
It was announced by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the launching of the World Wetlands Day 2020 on February 8.
“This place will not be used for development; it will be a green area in Sibu. Once we gazette, we will improve the infrastructure here, re-do the drainage around Bukit Lima area and it will become a tourism area”, he added.
Sarawak is one of the states in Malaysia with positive and innovative policies in development plans whereby the government has identified green areas for conservation.
The decision to gazette the area is also part of the effort to educate the people in Sibu, particularly the younger generation on sustainable development.
KUCHING – The First Phase of Visit Sarawak Campaign (VSC) had received a favourable increment in the number of visitor arrivals for the year 2019 in comparison to the year 2018.
It was announced by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Minister of Youth and Sports Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during Sarawak Tourism Board’s Annual Gala Dinner on January 19, 2020 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
“An unaudited achievement of 5.22 percent increase in the number of arrivals had keep our hopes high and in fact our arrivals have indeed surpassed the UNWTO’s global growth predicted at 4% for 2019”, he said.
The Second Phase of VSC will focus more into digital promotion, which involves celebrities, influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) while maintaining the current conventional promotion.
“I laud the efforts of the Sarawak Tourism Federation and its umbrella bodies in working together with my Ministry and the Board and I hope that the collaboration and partnership will continue to bring the industry to a greater height’, he added.
KUCHING – On January 16, 2020, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) organised a LitSara Traditional Wisdom Tour for Sarawak’s industry partners with the support of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).
The LitSara Traditional Wisdom Tour is a one and a half hour tour where visitors will get a chance to discover enchanting fragrances from Sarawak’s indigenous herbs and plants, including their traditional knowledge, uses for food, medicine, health and many more.
The programme consists of a mindful walk through SBC’s Ethnobotanical Garden to get up close and personal to centuries old traditional knowledge from various communities in Sarawak. Visitors can also visit the SBC’s Gallery and indulge in a hands-on activity by making their own aromatherapy essential oil.
At the end of the tour, visitors will be able to experience a Traditional Steam Spa ‘Native Style’, infused with wild herbs and spices to soothe your tired feet and body. The tour finishes with a native story-telling and visitors will bring back their preferred “LitSara Gift Set”.
FINLAND – To kick start the new year, Sarawak Tourism Board will be participating in the MATKA Nordic Fair, happening on January 16 to 19 at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre, Finland.
This year’s participation is under Tourism Malaysia Pavilion Stand No. 7n101 in Halls 6 and 7. During the exhibition week on January 15 and 16, MATKA is open only for travel trade professionals and will open for the general public starting January 17.
On January 16, three Sarawak’s products will be launched; the Sibu and the Central Region, the Trans-Borneo Cycling and the launching of Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 that will be happening on July 10 to 12, 2020. These launches are expected to create an impact in terms of branding and innovation of Sarawak to tie up with Visit Sarawak Campaign 2020.
There will also be a Tourism Malaysia The Hague and Sarawak Tourism Seminar 2020 on January 21, organised jointly by Sarawak Tourism and Tourism Malaysia at the Corendon Village Hotel, Amsterdam for a session with the Dutch tour operators and media on the updates and present Sarawak’s new products.
KUCHING – The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre near Kuching was voted and awarded Sarawak’s Outstanding Tourism Attractions at the 8th Sarawak Tourism Hornbill Award 2017/2018 which was held on December 7 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).
Winners of the nine categories and sub-categories of awards were announced and presented to winners during the function:
Outstanding Tourist Guides – Cornelia Peter Dien and Alvin Wayne Anggi
Outstanding Destination Management Company (DMC):
Best and Creative Incentive Itinerary: Amogha Tours & Travels Sdn Bhd, Kuching
Most Outstanding DMC (Domestic): CPH Travel Agencies (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Kuching
Emerging DMC (Sarawak): Ecogreen Holidays Sdn Bhd, Kuching
Outstanding Media Contribution to the Tourism Industry:
Best Tourism News Reporting on Sarawak: Chua Yew Yong and Chong Kho Lee
Best Tourism Feature Writing (Online) Media on Sarawak: Dinah Samuel
Best Tourism (Print) Articles: Tan Phek Leng
Best Tourism Photojournalism: Zulazhar Sheblee
Best Tourism Related Videos: Emily Yii
Outstanding Hotels & Accommodation Providers:
5-star category: Mulu Marriot Resort & Spa
4-star category: Grand Margherita Hotel, Kuching
3-star category: New World Suites, Bintulu
1-star and 2-star Orchid Rated and Innovative Accommodations: Inn 86, Bintulu
Homestay category: Homestay Bario Highland
Outstanding Shopping Mall – The Spring Shopping Mall, Kuching
Outstanding Cottage Industry Contribution to the Tourism Industry:
Handicraft Outlet: The Ranee Artisan Gallery, Kuching
Handicraft Product: Bangie Embol (Pua Kumbu).
Hornbill Special Award (Individual) – Philip Yong Khi Liang
KUCHING – Sarawak Tourism Board held its first ever EPIC Night Run on November 30 at Padang Merdeka, Kuching.
The event received 2,500 participations from amateurs to professional runners representing people from all walks of life, competing in two run categories, the 3km and 5km run along the main tourist attractions in Kuching.
Aimed to become a signature event owned by Sarawak Tourism Board, the run augurs well to spread awareness on the its EPIC culture.
‘EPIC’, a better and simpler acronym for Excellence, Professionalism, Integrity and Caring are the core values that STB is keen to share and will bring outside of the organisation, sharing it with the tourism fraternity and the public as whole.
Throughout the evening, as a trendy way to get the message across all participants, the its deeper meaning was brought alive, observed and practice in the fun night run.
Other than the run, there were also music performances, lucky draws and best dress winner to wrap up the night.
BINTULU – The launching of Royal Brunei Airlines inaugural flight from Bandar Seri Begawan to Bintulu was held on November 5, 2019 at the Bintulu Airport.
Hosted by the Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad in partnership with Sarawak Tourism, Royal Brunei Airlines is the first international airline to fly to one of the cities in Sarawak and introduced it as their next destination city in conjunction with the RB Link initiative to connect the cities and towns within Borneo Island.
Other than making travelling within Borneo easier, the Bandar Seri Begawan-Bintulu route will also benefit both Bintulu and its neighbouring town with the best pricing and five-star services, as well as connecting international markets such as China, Japan, UK and Australia through Brunei.
“Sarawak tourism sees this as a strategic partnership with Royal Brunei in the promotion of Sarawak on the Visit Sarawak Campaign, we are partnering in a right direction”, said Sarawak Tourism Board, Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor.
The flights to and from Bandar Seri Begawan and Bintulu will operate five times weekly on a brand new ATR 72-600 aircrafts by Malindo Air. The first flight arrived at Bintulu Airport at 2025 hrs and was welcomed with a water canon salute.
SIBU – The inaugural flight from Bandar Seri Begawan to Sibu on November 14, now opens the central region of Sarawak to the world through another strategic hub in the region.
Connected under the Royal Brunei RB Link initiative, Sibu is now connected to STB’s focus markets including cities of Beijing and Shanghai in China, London in the United Kingdom and Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia.
“With the connectivity provided by Royal Brunei, Sibu can now look forward to be accessible to the world through another important hub, Bandar Seri Begawan. Not only it serves as a link for local business community to the outside world but also facilitating the growth of tourism into Sibu and the Central region”, said STB’s Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor.
She added that the connection augurs well for central region as the abroad is currently pursuing an aggressive promotion campaign which we have recently launched in Europe and we are expecting tourist movement early next year.
Earlier, on November 5, Royal Brunei also celebrated its inaugural flight to Bintulu which receives positive feedbacks from the locals and are expecting movement of tourists.
Royal Brunei’s six times weekly flights to Sibu and the five times to Bintulu are operated by Malindo Air on its brand new ATR 72-600 aircrafts.
SINIAWAN – “RAJAH” a feature film on the White Rajah of Sarawak, Sir James Brooke, is an upcoming Hollywood feature film on the first White Rajah to be shown on the big screen throughout the world.
The filming of ‘Rajah” has gone well for the past one month with shooting taken in various places of attraction including the rustic town of Siniawan, Fairy and Wind Caves, Santubong, Sarawak Cultural Village and Borneo 744.
The movie is also being spiced up with fantasy and romance to make it more suitable for commercial viewing,
The film is based on Brooke’s life when he first arrived in Borneo in 1839 in search of adventure and fortune and later to be known as the ‘White Rajah” of Sarawak.
‘Rajah’ stars include famed Hollywood actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Malaysian actors, Shaheizy Sam, Bront Palare, Datuk Rahim Razali and also Sarawak born actors Kahar Jini and Peter John Labang.
It is directed by Michael Haussman and produced by Rob Allyn.