Abdul Karim (fourth right) with others after the soft-launching of ‘Kuching Old Bazaar: Cultural Mapping and Tourism Promotion Programme’ held at Carpenter Street .

KUCHING: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today Covid-19 had its own silver lining.

“If the pandemic did not happen, automatically we would forget about the importance of promoting tourism to our own people,” he told a press conference at the Kuching Old Courthouse on Thursday (Oct 1).

“Covid-19 made us realise what we overlooked.

“Although the virus affected everyone in the world, in a way, I see it as a sign from God that we should stop and look back on what we should do to improve ourselves,” he added.

Abdul Karim said because of the pandemic, his ministry had been aggressively promoting Sarawak to the locals in line with its plan to reboot the tourism industry in the state.

“Without it, we will not be promoting aggressively to the locals and will only promote our tourism to countries such as China and Europe.

“Surprisingly, our promotions have been well received by the locals.”

On Aug 17, the Tourism, Arts and Culture introduced the “Sia Sitok Sarawak” campaign to revive and boost local travel within Sarawak.

The campaign offers 30 exciting packages, attractions, tours and activities in Kuching, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Mulu; they include day trips and non-overnight tours as well as full board multiple day trips with accommodations and meals.