Ting (seated centre) with the 19 new licensed RSTG.

MIRI: The Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry will continue to strengthen the Visit Sarawak campaign while promoting a new post Covid-19 campaign with the tagline ‘Rediscover Yourself In Sarawak’.

Assistant Minister for Tourism, Art and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting disclosed yesterday that the campaigns aimed to reach out to domestic tourists and encourage them to travel within the state (intrastate) and interstate.

The new post Covid-19 campaign was launched by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on June 22 this year following the reopening of the state’s tourism sector.

“We are shifting our focus to domestic tourism. We will continue with the ‘Sarawak Visit Campaign’ with a focus on strengthening the ‘Sarawak More to Discover’ brand and promoting five key themes of Sarawak’s unique experience in terms of culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals (CANFF),” explained Ting. 

He was interviewed after handing over Regional Specific Tourist Guide (RSTG) licences in Miri to 19 tour guides at a leading hotel here.

Before that, Ting attended a state tourism committee meeting with all divisions and all relevant agencies.

At the handing over of the licences to the tour guides, Ting pointed out the Covid-19 outbreak had seriously affected the tourism industry players including licensed tourist guides.

Unlike the other sectors, the tourism sector, he said, needed a longer recovery period to build up tourists’ confidence to visit Sarawak.

“With the new norms globally and reopening of domestic tourism, tourist guides have a new responsibility to make sure tourists follow health and safety protocols during their visits.

“Tourist guides must help gain tourists’ trust in a safe travel in Sarawak post Covid-19,” he said.

Ting was confident that 19 new licensed tourist guides would boost the tourism industry in Miri.

He said that his ministry would look into the possibility of collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) to organise similar RSTG courses in Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu regions as well.

“In addition, my ministry has talked to Yayasan Sarawak to provide financial loans to those interested to pursue this RSTG course,” he said.

Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Ministry of Tourism Sarawak director Suria Charles Buas and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer (CEO) Sharzede Salleh Askor.