Expanding Sarawak Digital Footing with STOEF
Since the onset of the pandemic, the tourism industry needs to shift its mindset from the old ways of connecting people and places to embracing digitalization. By setting new digital strategies and leveraging on technology such as social media platforms, search and geolocation technologies enable better reach to travelers seeking for their next adventure more effectively.
With a funding of up to RM5,000 per applicant, the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund (STOEF) initiative by Sarawak Tourism Board is an opportunity for tourism industry players to build their digital presence, increase Sarawak’s visibility online and be more competitive and relevant in the marketplace. The first phase of the STOEF programme in 2020 saw 45 successful participants use the fund towards improving their digital presence and currently, 50% of the total budget allocation has been taken up.
For JC Chua, founder and director of Paradesa Borneo, a company that specializes in cycling day tours based in Kuching since 2013, receiving the STOEF has helped elevate his company’s website, making it load faster and become more mobile friendly, which provides easier navigation, encourages visitors especially from untapped markets to browse the site longer and increases their chance to select their preferred tour activity listed on the website.
“I believe that today, expanding our digital footprint is a way forward to reach out to our target audience. This year, we are looking at adding more pages to our website to drive more traffic in and see the full impact it brings once the borders reopen,” he added.
STB Chief Executive Officer, Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor underlines STB’s continuous efforts in finding ways and means to provide support, revive the affected tourism industry and play a role to help in improving the ecosystem in the tourism sector. “I am happy that the responses for these incentives and funds have been positive among tourism players and hope that more will take up these initiatives to build their brand online, to be more competitive and relevant in the marketplace,” she added.
STB is encouraging local tourism industry partners who are registered trade companies licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) to grab this opportunity and apply for the STOEF programme. Interested applicants can apply through STB’s website at https://sarawaktourism.com/stb-incentives/ before 30th September 2021. The fund is allocated on a first come, first served basis.
To further support the local tourism sector during the pandemic, STB has also initiated other campaigns such as the Sia Sitok Sarawak intra-state campaign and Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) incentives.
For more information, log on to Sarawak Tourism Board’s website: https://sarawaktourism.com