2021 tourism calendar launched

(From third left) STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datuk Salleh Askor, Motac permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Ting with representatives of travel agencies showing the 2021 Sarawak tourism calendar.

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) has launched its 2021 calendar for tourism events in Sarawak.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting said 117 tourism events would be held next year compared to 105 events this year.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in the state for most of this year, the ministry and its strategic partners had been working hard to prepare the tourism industry for the coming year.

“Indeed, this has been a difficult year and the tourism industry has been greatly affected.

“The ministry has been very focused on how to prepare and move forward from this for 2021,” he told a press conference after chairing the Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) meeting here today.

Ting disclosed that the ministry is focusing on ecotourism and community-based tourism next year to promote more domestic tourism.

“We’d like to encourage our own local communities, especially in the rural areas, to go into providing homestays.

“This is in line with the ministry’s initiative this year in promoting domestic tourism,” he explained.

He said the ministry expected the arrival of international tourists in the state to be at a minimum for the first half of 2021.

“Because of that, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) together with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture have been very active and will continue to focus on domestic tourism,” he added.

Ting also said that STB would be assisting the ministry to actively promote local tourism products.

“Together, we will get through this difficult time for the year and we look forward to a better year in 2021,” he added.

On the Sia Sitok Sarawak travel campaign launched in August, Ting said the initiative had garnered positive response from the people.

“The campaign has generated RM900,000 in sales or 634 tour packages for 3,677 pax,” he revealed.