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Sarawak Launches Revolutionary ‘Embrace and Act Tourism’ Ambassador Programme for Sarawak Civil Service to Foster State-wide Tourism Advocacy Towards Achieving 4 Million Visitors Arrivals

Kuching, 30th April, 2024 – Sarawak today took a monumental leap forward in its tourism endeavours with the launch of the ‘Sarawak Tourism Ambassador – Embrace and Act Tourism’ Programme. This innovative initiative, unveiled by Deputy Minister for Tourism, YB Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, encapsulates the essence of patriotism and community engagement in promoting Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage and natural wonders to the world.

The CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor said, “The responsibility of promoting tourism involves all citizens – corporates and individuals.” Emphasising inclusivity, the CEO highlighted the Programme’s continuous journey towards raising awareness and bolstering the tourism sector through community involvement.

The Ambassadors Programme solidifies Sarawak’s tourism essence, to ensure every visitor encounters an unforgettable experience. Through continuous enhancement of tourism offerings and a culture of shared responsibility, Sarawak has established itself as the premier Gateway to the Captivating Wonders of Borneo. Sarawak continues to spotlight the State’s distinctive tourism drivers – its rich culture, thrilling adventures, breathtaking nature, delectable cuisine, and vibrant festivals-all topped with legendary hospitality.

The groundbreaking programme aims to reignite passion for tourism within Sarawak Civil Service, recognising civil service as invaluable ambassadors for Sarawak’s tourism sector. The Minister’s speech underscored the pivotal role civil service play in driving economic development, cultural preservation, and fostering sustainable growth through their advocacy and engagement with communities, poised to become catalysts for change, embodying Sarawak’s spirit of hospitality and excellence in service.

“In the second phase of this programme, we aim to target 1,500 participants from the Sarawak Civil Service, spanning from May to October 2024. Under the theme ‘Embrace and Act Tourism’, our objective is to instill a sense of ownership among Sarawak Civil Service members on the state’s tourism attractions. We strongly encourage our Sarawak Civil Service to see themselves as custodians of our state’s development, entrusted with the vital task of promoting tourism,” Sharzede added.

As part of Sarawak’s robust tourism strategy, this Programme aims to elevate the sector, to contribute towards Sarawak’s overall target of 4 million visitors this year. In 2023, the industry witnessed a remarkable resurgence, with a staggering 93.82% growth compared to 2022. Tourism receipts surged to RM9.99 billion, reflecting a resilient and adaptable industry post-pandemic. Sarawak’s tourism performance in the first quarter of 2024 is also encouraging, recording a total of 1.18 million visitor arrivals from January to March 2024, with RM3.07 billion tourism receipts, with a growth of 31.2% in the same corresponding period in 2023.

The Ambassador Programme stands as a crucial strategy to promote Sarawak’s world-renowned Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2024, slated for June 28th to 30th under the theme ‘Evolution.’ Targeting over 25,000 visitors, RWMF2024 continues its commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism.

STB’s dedication to Responsible Tourism, environmental preservation, and community support since 2011 is evident through initiatives like waste management and energy conservation, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ambassadors are called upon to lead the charge in championing Responsible Tourism, ensuring a sustainable future for Sarawak’s tourism, especially through the promotion of RWMF.

The Programme’s online learning platform, developed in collaboration with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, underscored Sarawak’s commitment to digitalisation, innovation, and accessibility. By equipping participants with comprehensive knowledge and insights into Sarawak’s tourism destinations, the Programme aims to nurture a legion of ambassadors dedicated to promoting Sarawak’s tourism offerings with pride and authenticity.

STB’s dedication to innovation and inclusivity shone through with the expansion of the Ambassadorship Programme to the Sarawak Civil Service, building on the success of the previous phase, a collaboration with e-hailing drivers. The inaugural programme had 1,000 participants who achieved a perfect 100% score in the Sarawak Ambassadors Programme on e-learning, comprising of e-hailing Drivers and Sarawak Tourist Guides Association (SkTGA) members, as well as reaching almost 700 participants of Public Tourist Guides through PUSTAKA’s e-Pandei.

YB Sebastian (3rd from left) during the launch of the Sarawak Tourism Ambassadorship Program, accompanied by (from left) Pustaka Negeri Sarawak Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Operation) Wan Mazli Wan Razali, Deputy Chairman, Board of Management, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak Datu Dr Rashidah Hj Bolhassan, STB Chairman YB Dennis Ngau, STB BOD Member Robert Lau Hui Yew and STB CEO Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor.


YB Sebastian (5th from left) with the participants during the launch of the Sarawak Tourism Ambassadorship Program. Also present is (from left) State Human Resource Development & Management Senior Assistant Director Jacqueline Tan Sui Ling, STB BOD Member Robert Lau Hui Yew, STB CEO Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, STB Chairman YB Dennis Ngau, Deputy Chairman, Board of Management, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak Datu Dr Rashidah Hj Bolhassan and Pustaka Negeri Sarawak Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Operation) Wan Mazli Wan Razali.


YB Sebastian speaking during the launch of the Sarawak Tourism Ambassadorship Program at Pustaka Negeri Sarawak today.
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