Karim (centre) is briefed on the posters put up at the programme.

KUCHING: Sarawak emphasises on and practises responsible tourism and welcomes private initiatives to enhance the industry, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said in all its tourism events, the ministry had always inculcated responsible tourism, and urged all industry players and members of the public to give fully support the initiative.

“At last year’s World Rainforest Music Festival, for example, you did not see sales of drinks using plastic bottles. We brought in water dispensers for visitors as part of our efforts in inculcating responsible tourism,” he said.

Karim, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, said this when officiating at the Sarawak Youth Talent 2020 (SYT 2020) programme at UCSI Hotel here yesterday.

He commended organisers of the programme for coming up with exciting youth-empowering events that focused on youth development and providing them with a good platform to be involved in activities that brought positive impact to themselves, the community and society at large.

Karim assured that his ministry and the state government fully supported the initiative because it emphasised on minimising negative social and environmental impact while generating greater economic benefits as well as enhancing the wellbeing of local communities.

“The state government and my ministry welcome the organising of SYT2020 because it aims to bring together all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry including bringing youth together to share ideas, resources towards realising responsible tourism for a sustainable future.

“Together we can uphold values such as environment friendliness, healthy lifestyle and responsible tourism practices for the betterment of Sarawak and its people for years to come,” he added.

SYT 2020 is a collaboration between UCSI University, Saberkas and Sarawak Research Society aimed at empowering youths in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Karim (centre) is briefed on the posters put up at the programme.