Pesta Benak 2016

Pesta Benak, or the Benak Festival, takes place in Sri Aman just a two and a half hour’s drive from Kuching city on October 14-16.

This festival takes the opportunity of the tidal bore phenomenon of the Batang Lupar River, where large waves are formed due to the funnelling of a flood tide from the ocean through the river’s narrow inlet.

This phenomenon attracts tidal bore surfers from around the world to surf the turbulent waters of the Batang Lupar.

Aside from surfing, there are speedboat and longboat races, stage shows, cultural exhibitions and food stalls along the river, and at the end of the day the Kings of the Water or Raja Air will be named from the winners of the different competitions.

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Sarawak Business Session at ITB Asia 2016

15 representatives of the travel agents and hoteliers from Sarawak will be making their presence at this year’s ITB Asia to be held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on October 19 to 21.

ITB Asia is the largest B2B event in the region and has become the premier meeting place for the travel trade industry and also the forum for establishing high-quality customer contacts and conducting travel businesses.

The Sarawak Travel Agents will be actively taking part in the exhibitions, workshops and seminars, in an effort towards creating positive exposure and awareness in the international sphere on the relevance of Sarawak’s tourism products and destinations.

At ITB Asia, international exhibitors from all sectors within the travel businesses and Asia Pacific’s leading travel companies and emerging small and medium-sized enterprises will meet with top international buyers from the MICE, Leisure and Corporate Travel markets.

The event is open to registered trade partners from 10:00am to 6:00pm daily. Sarawak booth is located Hall F, booth number C15.

 For more information: http://www.itb-asia.com/

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Kuching to host the Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APECo) 2016

Kuching will host the Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APeco) on October 21 to 23at the Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching.

Under the theme “Creating Opportunities in Ecotourism”, the conference aim to promote ecotourism standards in the tourism industry  and creating awareness while  giving    opportunity to educate, share and exchange ideas and knowledge about ecotourism. 

With an assembly of 20 panellists ranging from destination founders to travel journalists, the conference will be covering specific topics of interest from Community to success stories in the ecotourism industry with special focus to the Asia Pacific region.

Organised by the Malaysia Association of Tour Agents (MATTA), it hope to  create a conducive dialogue to further development in the ecotourism industry while  acknowledging tourism as valid national investment as it creates a way for preservation and development to merge as one sustainable change to improve the livelihoods of communities.

For more information: http://apeco.org.my/

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Brooke Gallery now opens

The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita, was officially opened on September 24 coinciding with the 175th anniversary of the founding of State.

Housed in a Fort named after James Brooke’s wife, Rani Margherita, the gallery’s irreplaceable historical documents, artefacts and arts from the White Rajah’s era, wrapped in steep history and preserved in time.

The gallery also includes new addition such as a portrait painting of Rentappainted by the local artist, Alena Murang, depicting the man who was a hero to some and a villain to others.

This gallery was a joint project of the Sarawak Museum Department, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Mr. Jason Brooke, the grandson of the last Rajah Muda and the Director of The Brooke Trust.

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Siniawan to Be Gazetted

Old Siniawan town, located in the Bau district about 30 minutes’ drive from the city will be gazetted as a ‘Heritage Area’.

With the gazetting process underway, Siniawan will soon be “linked” to the State’s Brooke Heritage Site and Brooke Gallery in Fort Margherita, of which all these sites will be upgraded to be turned into a new tourism product.

Siniawan, was among the locations for many key battles during the Brooke era and has gained popularity over the years for its weekend night market with its rustic setting attracting locals and tourists alike to sample its wide range of local food and beverages.

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Another additional member for our Orang Utan family

The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching, has welcomed a new member to the Orang Utan  family with the recent birth of a baby Orang Utan.

The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) recently announced that the 20 year old mother, Analisa was spotted on the feeding platform on September 18 with a new-born baby in her arms, the gender of the baby is still unknown.

This is far from the first natural birth at the Wildlife Centre, as Analisa has given birth to two babies before and she herself was born to Seduku, one of the oldest female orangutan at the Centre.

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Photo credit to Borneo Post
Picture shows Analisa with her new baby

Semenggoh now has 27 free-ranging orangutans, and the newest birth has provided irrefutable proof of the success of the Centre’s rehabilitation programme, while also inspiring those who are working towards the conservation and rehabilitation of orangutans throughout Sarawak.

Sarawak Tourism Board Signs MOU with Heibei Province

The Sarawak Tourism Board’s strategy in tapping the China market has produced positive results with the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hebei Province at a ceremony held here on September 25.

Signed by the Chairman of STB, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz and Hebei Governor Zhang Qingwei, the MOU provides opportunity for joint tourism cooperation, aggressive promotions and establishment of business exchange specifically focusing on the tourism sector.

The document also focuses on research on tourism attractions and development as both destinations have similar tourism products such as mountains, geo-parks, lakes, rural and cultural tourism.

The Signing of MOU will see positive result in charter flights connecting Sarawak and Hebei Province to cater for movement of tourists and business travel, and will bring Sarawak to another level in their effort to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sarawak.

Picture shows Sarawak Tourism Board’s Chairman Hon. Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab bin Aziz (third from left) and witnessed by the Assistant Minister of Tourism Sarawak Hon. Datuk Lee Kim Shin (fourth from left) after the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding ceremony.
Picture shows Sarawak Tourism Board’s Chairman Hon. Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab bin Aziz (third from left) and witnessed by the Assistant Minister of Tourism Sarawak Hon. Datuk Lee Kim Shin (fourth from left) after the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding ceremony.

Sarawak Festivals of 2017

The 20th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 will be taking place on 14-16 July 2017.

The festival will be held at its home in Santubong, the Sarawak Cultural Village, just 45 minutes from Kuching City Center.

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As for the 12th edition of Borneo Jazz, it will be held on 12-13 May at ParkCityEverly Hotel in Miri.

Both are Sarawak’s iconic festivals of international standards and has attracted audience worldwide.

More updates and information on the Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz can be found at the websites: www.rwmf.net and www.jazzborneo.com, respectively.

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Trade and Consumer events

CHINA

Heibei Tourism Conference

The Board is participating in Heibei Tourism Conference from 21 – 27 September and will see the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Sarawak Tourism Board and Heibei Tourism Authority.

This Memorandum of Understanding between both tourism agencies are desirous to promote and develop the tourism co-operation and regional tourism for mutual interest. The areas covered in the memorandum includes the development of an integrated and better tourism linkages between the State of Sarawak and Heibei Province; the development of cultural and educational exchanges between the two agencies and the promotion and development of health and education

 

SINGAPORE

Malaysia Day Reception

Sarawak will be the highlight of this year’s Malaysia Day Reception co-hosted by the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore and Tourism Malaysia Singapore this coming September 14, 2016.

Sarawak will be provided with a tourism platform during this night and about 250 dignitaries consisting of various diplomats and foreign embassies will be treated with a multi-cultural show from Sarawak during the dinner.

Sarawak will be participating in two of the major tourism trade shows towards the end of 2016. These two events are platforms for the industry members to extend the business networks and consumer outreach.

ITB Asia

This will be from October 19 -21, 2016 and will be held at the Marina Bay Sands. ITB Asia is annually held three-day business to business trade show and convention for the travel industry.

As one of the leading trade shows around Asia, this is a fine platform for industry members to be hooked up with top international buyers from the MICE, Leisure and Corporate Travel Markets.

UNITED KINGDOM

World Travel Market, London

Sarawak will be exhibiting at WTM Londonand will be from November 7-9 at the ExCel London; an exhibition and international convention center.

WTM London, one of the tourism tradeshows in the world and is attended by over 50, 000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press.

Travel trade professionals attend to meet new and existing contacts, gain industry insights and keep up to date with the latest travel trends whilst the 3,000 members of the international press come to report the latest stories and keep up to date with the Industry.

 

See you at ITB Asia in Singapore and World Travel Mart in London

 

Siniawan Festival 2016

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A four-day event consists of varieties of food, music, cultural events plus numerous health activities will be held from September 15 to 18 at Siniawan old bazaar. Siniawan is a small town in Bau District which is located about 20km from Kuching city.

The event is to promote 100 years of existence of Siniawan. The event will embark with a jungle trekking and cycling challenge which include other sports activities such as futsal, sepaktakraw, blowpipe demonstration, street and traditional games, and a state-level photography competition. On Saturday, 17 September, visitors will be treated to a ‘Western country and Cowboy night’ and live band performances of country western music including classic songs from the 60s to the 80s. The theme coincides with the single-street bazaars reminiscence of a typical American ‘Wild West’ cowboy town.

The event will also host mid-autumn festival (moon cake), calligraphy exhibition, Chinese chess competition, lantern-making demonstration, lion dance competition and the worshipping of ‘Yue Niang’ (Moon Goddess) and Ghost festival. There will also be a traditional Teochew Opera show and Mandarin ‘Yue Liang’ songs singing competition. A Sarawak ethnic section will be included to focus on the Bidayuh community that includes the selling of handicraft and local delicacies, and Bidayuh cultural performances.

Another interesting program is to explore Rajah James Brooke Heritage Trail which covers Brooke’s first fort in Sarawak, Fort Berlidah which was built near Siniawan.

According to the organizing Chairman, Liew, most people called Siniawan an ‘old people’s town’ because there were not many economic activities before year 2010. With this event, he hopes to make Siniawan as one of the popular tourists’ destinations as it has a great potential.

For more information: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/08/24/fun-filled-siniawan-festival-on-the-cards