Zulkifly (second left) launches the Birds Malaysia Website witnessed by (from left) president of Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) Philip Yong, director Package Development Tourism Malaysia Syed Yahya Syed Othman and founder and CEO of Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Malaysia (Ecomy) Andrew Sebastian. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Tourism Malaysia has launched its first Bird Malaysia website (www.birdsmalaysia.my) as part of efforts to draw more tourists to visit Malaysia next year.

The new travel tool was launched by Tourism Malaysia deputy director general Zulkifly Md Said during the 10th Asian Bird Fair 2019 at Kuching Waterfront, yesterday.

According to Zulkifly, the website would serve as a platform for local birds enthusiasts to showcase and promote their ecotourism packages, in particular ‘bird watching’ or ‘birding tour’ or ‘bird photography’.

“In this website, more than 25 interesting packages have been offered at attractive prices by seven local birds enthusiasts with special focus on birding activities.

“For example, there are ‘Birding @ Tabin’ in Sabah, ‘Bird watching @ Mulu Sarawak’, and ‘Bird watching tour @ Taman Negara Pahang,’ he said when met with reporters after the website launching ceremony.

He added that the website could help to channel more information about bird watching experiences, photos and knowledge on birds in the country.

Zulkifly (second left) launches the Birds Malaysia Website witnessed by (from left) president of Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) Philip Yong, director Package Development Tourism Malaysia Syed Yahya Syed Othman and founder and CEO of Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Malaysia (Ecomy) Andrew Sebastian. Photo: Ramidi Subari

“The birding segment is considered very niche but has great potential in generating higher tourism revenues as the activity attracts quality tourists. The launch of the website is timely in boosting tourist arrivals to Malaysia and to support the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign.”

In Malaysia, there are more than 750 species and 50 types of endemic birds. Malaysia also has 55 locations gazetted as Important Bird Area (IBA) including Sabah and Sarawak.

The website was developed and managed by the Ecotourism Conservation Society of Malaysia (Ecomy) with the cooperation of Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia.

Based on the estimation provided by Ecomy, Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) and local birding operators, Malaysia could generate some RM3.6 million by the end of this year from bird watching activities.