Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri with (from left) Serumbu assemblyman Miro Simuh, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep, state Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, and Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Sharzede Salleh Askor experience the various stuffs that can be made from bamboo during a visit to Libiki Bambo Resort at Krokong, Bau, yesterday.

BAU: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and a team from her ministry (Motac) are going on a nationwide tour to identify tourism products that can be promoted to revive domestic tourism which has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said during the tour, which began in the Batang Sadong parliamentary constituency and yesterday in Bau district, the Motac team would be promoting eateries, accommodations, ethnic culture and traditions, and tourist spots.

“These are the domestic tourism products that we can highlight to revive the industry, hence resuscitating the economy of the people, states and country,” she told reporters when visiting Libiki Bamboo Resort in Kampung Bijuray Mongag, here, yesterday.

Nancy said after three months of stagnation of the economy including the tourism sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the people had started to return to their daily activities.

She said after the tourism sector was allowed to resume operations, within two weeks, the hotels started receiving bookings while some hotel rooms were already fully booked.

“This is a good sign as the people have more confidence to go out with the safer situation in the country. However, for now, we cannot open the economic sector wholly and what’s important is for us to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) so that foreigners will feel assured that our country is safe,” she said.

According to her, reviving the tourism sector is necessary to help rejuvenate the nation’s economy which has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On initiatives under the National Economic Recovery Plan for small and medium industries in the tourism, arts and culture sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, she said Bank Negara was expected to announce the distribution mechanism for the RM1 billion fund in the middle of this month.

“The announcement is taking time because detailed planning is needed as it involves many activities that require financial assistance,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism Assistant Minister, Datuk Sebastian Ting who was present during the visit, said the Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry would be working closely with Motac to revive the state’s tourism industry.

Earlier, Nancy visited a number of restaurants in Kuching and then legendary sape player Mathew Ngau’s homestay in Singai, the Gumbang Heritage Centre and some other tourist attractions. – Bernama