More Brunei visitors expected after mid-Nov

SIBU: This town is expected to receive an increasing number of visitors from Brunei once the proposed Brunei-Sibu flight is implemented.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah pointed this out at the opening of a four-night Sibu International Dance Festival (SIDF) on Tuesday.

He disclosed that Brunei Tourism Board was working on the Brunei-Sibu air connectivity.

Abdul Karim (centre) gestures after receiving a souvenir from Chen at the SIDF opening on Tuesday night.

“We do have plans for Sibu to have international flights,” he added.

According to the Royal Brunei Airlines website, it has formed a partnership with Malindo Air to operate the new Bandar Seri Begawan-Sibu sector which will commence in mid-November this year.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the new flight coupled with the expected completion of the Sibu-Kapit Road at the end of 2020 augured well for tourism in Sibu.

“As the gateway to the hinterland, Sibu has a lot to offer to tourists besides the SIDF and Sibu International BASE Jump. There are several places of interest in the interior that can lure visitors to stay longer here,” he added.

The minister also had good news to share with the organiser of SIDF. The organiser, Chen Ing Kuan, had said two weeks ago, that the event this time might be the last due to lack of funds.

Chen said RM300,000 was needed to organise the international dance every year.

“I will make sure that SIDF is here to stay,” said Abdul Karim to the applause of those present.

He also doubled the funding from his ministry to SIDF and hoped the event would be bigger in future, adding that he wanted the ministry to be the
co-organiser as well.

“In order to elevate the event to another level, I want government agencies such as the police and the Immigration Department to be involved as well,” he said.

Abdul Karim explained that the Immigration Department, for instance, could smoothen the process of entry for
international artistes.

A total of 14 countries and regions are participating in this year’s festival which is taking place at  the Civic Centre and Sibu Heritage Centre.

This 8th edition of Sibu International Dance Festival is organised by Hornland Dance Theatre and supported by Sibu Municipal Council. It is being held in various places in Sibu such as Civic Centre, RH Hotel, Heritage Centre and Central Market.

Tuesday evening saw performances by three troupes, namely Liao Mo-Hsi Dance Theatre, Taiwan, Hornland Dance Theatre, Sibu and Kinnara Kinnari Dance Community from Indonesia.

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