Lee Chin Teck

SERIAN: A local businessman has issued a clarion call for more entrepreneurs to invest in Sematan to transform the area into a tourist destination.

Tecktonic & Sons managing director Lee Chin Teck said Sematan was flushed with potential but lacked accommodation for tourists.

“I would like to call on the private sector to go into the hotel industry, especially in Sematan. Over there, the sea floor is about 10km but the area only has one Roxy hotel,” he told reporters yesterday.

Earlier, Lee witnessed the launch of Roxy Hotel Serian by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. The hotel was developed by Tecktonic & Sons, being the first purpose-built hotel in the division.

As for Sematan, Lee hoped that more entrepreneurs would come in and possibly enter a joint venture with his company.

“I hope that one day, Sematan will be like Phuket, Penang and Bali, with a lot of hotels, restaurants and other businesses.”

Lee added that with the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway as well as the Batang Rambungan bridge, connectivity to the area would improve.

“Once completed, the journey from Kuching will be cut down to only one-and-a-half hours.”

On Roxy Hotel Serian, Lee said it was scheduled for opening back in March but was postponed due to the movement control order (MCO).

He said Covid-19 and MCO had impacted hotel operators nationwide, adding that Sarawak hotel operators had fared better than their counterparts in Sabah.

“My friends over in Kota Kinabalu are also suffering as they are not attracting tourists from overseas. We are fortunate here as we still have local tourists.”

Lee also thanked the state government for its initiative in providing subsidies to affected hotel operators across Sarawak to keep their businesses afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.