Sarawak wraps up at the Flight Centre Travel Expo

The Sarawak Tourism Board wrapped up at the Flight Centre Travel Expo, where they attended the expo in Sydney and Melbourne on February 2-3 and 9-10.

The Board was able to promote Sarawak directly to the Australian consumers, who were eager to hear more about the responsible tourism and experiential tourism attractions within Sarawak.

The expo was a success in raising awareness on the authenticity and vastness of Sarawak’s attractions, particularly in Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals as well.

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Nordic Travel Fair

Sarawak Tourism Board went for a week-long tourism promotion mission to Finland attending the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki and also conducted destination briefing and partners’ engagement session in Amsterdam with local Sarawak partners.

 Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is set to ramp its tourism promotion in the Netherlands with at least three Dutch operators who have expressed their interests in joint marketing collaboration.

 The Product Managers from Fox Verre Reizen and Sawadee Reizen expressed their interests to do a familiarization trip to Sarawak in order for them to have a first-hand experience of the destination whereas the Product Manager of Pangea Travel had, indicated his intention to include the Central Region as a new product in their promotional catalogue.

 Meanwhile in Helsinki, the STB delegation were guests at the office of the Malaysian Embassy, meeting with the First Secretary, Norhalilah Abdul Jalil.

Norlilah (left) with Sharzede at the Malaysian Embassy
Norlilah (left) with Sharzede at the Malaysian Embassy

STB Celebrates CNY by Promoting Iconic Sarawak Animals

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) celebrates this Chinese New Year by promoting Sarawak’s iconic animal, the Bornean Bearded Pig.

Around 24% of Sarawak’s population are of Chinese descent, making the lunar New Year a big celebration throughout the state every year.

The use of the ang pau is a tradition celebrated by Chinese communities throughout Sarawak and the world, where the elders give red packets to children on the Lunar New Year for good fortune. In more modern renditions of the red packet, the animal of the Chinese zodiac for that year is often featured on the front.

As the Visit Sarawak Campaign continues, STB used this opportunity to celebrate the local cultural tradition of celebrating the lunar New Year by printing red packets for their partners in tourism, as well as promoting Sarawak’s distinct nature, this year being the Bornean Bearded Pig.

Bako National Park’s Bornean Bearded Pig is one of the most popular animals in the park, second only to the proboscis monkey, it became the perfect option for the “red packet”.

For more information, you can read the press release here…

Red packets featuring the iconic Bornean Bearded Pig.
Red packets featuring the iconic Bornean Bearded Pig.

 

Video Production in Sarawak

Video production in Sarawak is not a new thing, as the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has steadily assisted 20 to 25 productions per year for the past few years.

While STB doesn’t have the authority to ‘green light’ a production or issue permits, they are present to assist and guide production houses through the application processes to the Chief Minister’s Office and Sarawak Immigration Office, as well as to offer a letter of support to help in the application.

Filming permit applications hinge on two criteria; that the production is beneficial to Sarawak’s tourism industry and that applications and documents are submitted two months in advance, in accordance with the Chief Minister’s Office and Sarawak Immigration Office’s standard operating procedures.

In 2018, STB assisted production houses such as the Pekin Express by Eccholine International Line Production from Belgium and “Islands-Earth’s Paradise Isles” by BBC Natural History Unit from UK.

Over the years, STB had a hand in assisting productions such as the Asia’s Next Top Model (Season 2 Episode 9), an episode of River Monsters, Surviving Borneo with Henry Golding, Anthony Bourdain’s – Parts Unknown, to name a few.

Pekin Express, the Belgian equivalent of the ‘Amazing Race,’ being filmed in Sarawak.
Pekin Express, the Belgian equivalent of the ‘Amazing Race,’ being filmed in Sarawak.

 

Sarawak Tourism Board’s Marketing Initiatives for 2019

Sarawak Tourism Board will participate in various trade & consumer fairs in its focus markets in 2019.

The focus market include Domestic, Regional, Europe, China and Australia markets, with many established travel fairs planned in STB’s marketing initiative calendar.

More importantly, Sarawak will be holding their own trade or roadshows in certain markets such as the Sarawak Expo, a consumer fair, which will be held in November in Indonesia.

In Singapore, a two-part “Singapore Business Networking Session” will take place in April and October to encourage new business connections between Sarawak and Singapore industry partners.

STB will also be holding a Sarawak Tourism Roadshow in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, with a B2B format, for the same reason.

A two-part Sarawak Tourism Seminar in collaboration with AirAsia will be taking place in South China as well, the first session taking place in March and the second in October.

STB encourages international trade partners to attend the various trade and consumer fairs and roadshows in the year of 2019, to form new business ventures to promote Sarawak’s attractions and products worldwide.

For more in depth information on the 2019 marketing initiatives here…

Plane Livery

The Visit Sarawak Campaign’s plane livery will be launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Kuching International Airport on February 2.

The AirAsia plane will fly for at least two years with a possible three-year extension, along an international route, to enhance the visibility of Sarawak’s brand and name, in the aims of achieving the state’s goal of 5 million visitors by the end of 2019.

The plane livery features a large rhinoceros hornbill along the side of the aircraft, as well as the Visit Sarawak Campaign’s logo and tagline, “Sarawak – More to Discover”.

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Electric Bus Unveiling

A new electric bus was unveiled at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) as a part of a pilot project that will introduce electric buses into the streets of Kuching.

Beginning early next year, the bus will take a 14km long route covering Satok, the Heritage Trail and iCOM Square, offering free rides to all locals and visitors for the first three months.

The bus has a capacity of 53 passengers and is wheelchair-friendly, with amenities like free Wi-Fi and a GPS tracking system.

It is fully electric and operates a range of around 300km on a fully charged battery, with a charging station located at Jalan Depo.

This encouraging move towards ‘clean energy’ driven public transport promises a greener future for Kuching, with a smaller carbon footprint and less air pollution.

Unveiling of the electric bus at BCCK
Unveiling of the electric bus at BCCK

Syndication and Media Night in Miri, Sibu

Sarawak Tourism Board recently held industry engagement sessions and a media night in Miri and Sibu, touching base and showing gratitude to media partners in the two cities.

On December 11 and 12 respectively, the syndication with industry partners was also held in Miri was held to present the Board’s plans for the coming Visit Sarawak Campaign and to take in feedback to be implemented in the future.

The Miri Media Appreciation Night was held to show the board’s gratitude to the local media in how they promote the communities, cultures and events within their region. The night was filled with lucky draws, karaoke and a photo booth for the members of the media to enjoy.

Local industry partners viewing STB print materials for tourism promotion
Local industry partners viewing STB print materials for tourism promotion

Cruise Ship Berths in Kuching

The Cruise ship Silver Muse, Monaco berthed on November 29 at the Senari port in Kuching. The cruise ship was on its 12-Day “Hong Kong – Singapore” route and stopped by Kuching as the final port before arriving in Singapore.

The disembarking passengers were greeted with a traditional welcoming and garlanding by a cultural at the courtesy of the Sarawak Tourism Board.

The cruise ship has a total of 528 passengers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The highest number of passengers came from United Kingdom with 97 passengers, the United States with 91 people and Australia with 76.

Excursion trips available to the disembarking passengers include a Kuching City Tour, Semenggoh Nature Reserve and Annah Rais visit as well as a Sarawak Cultural Village tour, while others took a City Shuttle to explore Kuching on their own.

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Media Appreciation Night

Sarawak Tourism Board held a Media Appreciation Night at Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching on November 27.

130 media members from across all publications, spanning from traditional newspapers to independent bloggers, enjoyed the night of appreciation for the coverage they have given on Sarawak, its many festivals and events, as well as its stories on the multi-cultural communities.

There will be similar media appreciation nights held in Miri on December 10, and another in Sibu later in December.

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