Encouraging response to Sia Sitok Sarawak campaign

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (left) and STB Chairman Dennis Ngau (right) witnessing the exchange of the Collaboration and Partnership Agreement document signed between STB represented by its CEO Sharzede Datuk Salleh Askor (second left) and Malaysian Associations of Hotels (MAH) represented by its Advisor Mohamad Ibrahim Nordin. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The recently launched Sia Sitok Sarawak 2.0 intra-state campaign on Mar 31 has received very encouraging response from the public, said Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said the campaign, organised by Sarawak Tourism Board in collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF), had expanded from 30 to over 60 tour packages with substantial discounts of up to 50 percent to revive and boost local travel.

“As of April 9, the campaign has received a positive feedback with 110 bookings of 682 pax worth RM315,000,” he revealed during the presentation of certificates on e-learning for e-hailing drivers under the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Grab Malaysia’s (Grab) Sarawak Ambassadors Programme at Imperial Hotel on Monday (April 12).

Karim said the most sellable packages were the Day Fishing Off Miri (Day Trip), Limbang Exploratory (2 Days 1 Night) and Semadang Kayaking.

“We see that this campaign will benefit the tourism sector with multiplier effects on tour operators, the food and beverage sector, tour guides, transportation, etc,” he said.

As custodian of Sarawak tourism, Karim said his ministry was continuously strategising and re-strategising to prepare comprehensive tourism recovery plans.

“This is to improve and rebuild destinations, to encourage innovations and re-think the tourism sector while we are facing challenges during this pandemic,” said Karim.

Earlier, STB chairman and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau spelt out three key factors to ensure Sarawak tourism industry continued to be beneficial to all, especially the industry players including taxi and e-hailing drivers.

He said the first factor was to have innovations and collaborations in order to achieve sustainable tourism.

“STB is working hard in this area,” said Dennis.

“Secondly, there must be sustainable tourism as we do not want a hit-and-run kind of tourism. For instance, no cheating of customers and overcharging them. These are not value for money kind of products,” he said.

“Thirdly, best management practices are the core of sustainable tourism. There must be licensed, honest and highly disciplined, tourism players,” he said.

Dennis urged everyone to work together to make Sarawak an outstanding tourist destination.

“I have great belief in our offerings and products. Sarawak is definitely unique in many aspects,” he added.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (left) and STB Chairman Dennis Ngau (right) witnessing the Collaboration and Partnership Agreement signing ceremony between STB represented by its CEO Sharzede Datuk Salleh Askor (seated left) and Malaysian Associations of Hotels (MAH) represented by its Advisor Mohamad Ibrahim Nordin. Photo: Ramidi Subari

Meanwhile, Karim also witnessed two Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremonies between STB and Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak Chapter, and between MAH Sarawak Chapter and Core Systems Technologies.

The objectives of the MOUs were to boost domestic tourism and sustain the tourism sector during the present recovery phase.