KUCHING: Sarawak is set to hold the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Destination Marketing Forum 2020 (PDMF 2020) in Kuching from Nov 25 to 27.

This was announced by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during at the conclusion of the PDMF 2019 last Nov 29 in Pattaya, Thailand.  

PDMF is a forum which gathers the top minds in destination travel to discuss major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth in lesser-known destinations. It is an annual event, featuring two days of learning, discovery and networking.

Besides a one-day conference, the PDMF’s one-day technical tour offers an immersive experience of the host destination.

PDMF 2020 will be hosted by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and the Sarawak Convention Bureau. It augurs well for the Visit Sarawak Campaign as well as the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 by highlighting Sarawak and Malaysia on the global tourism map.

Karim said that the ministry wants the charm of Sarawak to be felt by the delegates as Sarawak is rich in culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals.

“Visit Kuching next year and you will surely find more to discover. Indeed, you may come as a stranger but you’d leave as friends and family,” he said.

“Sarawak is certainly blessed with many natural wonders including our coastline and rivers, Gunung Mulu Unesco Heritage Site, the state’s continental shelf which is rich in oil and gas as well as our common fishing grounds with Vietnam and Thailand in the South China Sea.”

STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datuk Salleh Askor said that they are looking forward to host PDMF 2020 for our counterparts in the global tourism industry.

“In line with our advocacy of experiential tourism, we hope to enable delegates to experience the beauty, charms and hospitality of Sarawak that they will always remember.

“We would also be happy to showcase our stand on ‘Responsible Tourism’, for which we have taken various steps to educate Sarawak’s tourism players,” she said.

Pata chief executive officer Dr Mario Hardy said that aligning with Pata’s advocacy theme of tourism dispersal; the event will shine the spotlight on a side of Asia unlike anywhere else.

“As Sarawak offers an alternative for those seeking humble authenticity, far from the tourist-trap clichés, the Association remains a strong advocate on the issue of tourism dispersal to secondary and tertiary destination.

“It allows people to see the true authentic beauty of the country and its people and at the same time provide an economic boost to local communities who greatly benefit from tourism,” he said.

In advocating sustainable tourism and emerging destinations, Pata is offering complimentary registration to all interested parties. For more information about the event, visit www.pata.org.