Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The state government will look into the feasibility of boosting potential nature areas nearby Kuching city.

In his remarks, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah agreed that areas such as Padawan, Bengoh, and Bau possessed adequate natural attractions that could be improved.

“We are working together with the district councils to identify these places and also with local elected representatives for feedback on areas that can be improved.

“I like this kind of areas because it is nearby Kuching city. Domestic and international tourists tend to avoid places that involve a long duration in the commute,” he explained.

He was fielding a question by reporters alluding to the initiative taken by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC) to promote lesser known natural areas in areas around here.

Citing the Bengoh Waterfall as an example, Abdul Karim said there was a likelihood that the state government would also look into identifying areas for tourists to come and visit.

“The areas in Bengoh are a secured place as there is a water dam there. The state government will probably look into where the areas that can and cannot be visited are.

“Because we cannot open a dam area where the water supply for Kuching, Samarahan, and Serian are stored. The security for a dam such as this must be protected to avoid contamination,” said Abdul Karim.

On another note, he also noted that the tourism industry in the state had been affected by the reduction of flights coming into Sarawak.

“But hopefully after Aug 14, we will not see a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. If not, everything will return to normal,” he added.