Friday, May 19, 2017

Sabah's Tun Mustapha Marine Park celebrates 1 year anniversary, aims to be tourism beacon

KUDAT: The Tun Mustapha Marine Park (TMP) here will be a beacon of tourism in the years to come, Sabah Special Task Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said today.

Launching the park’s first-year anniversary celebration, Teo said that TMP’s appeal lies in its white sandy beaches, mysterious caves and rich marine life, courtesy of its strategic location within the Coral Triangle.

He said he believes it is high time for private companies to start taking advantage of the park's potential.

"As with many industries, the government only facilitates tourism, while it is the private sector that drives it.

"So, I encourage all players to come in and work together to develop the marine park into a premier destination not just in Malaysia, but on an international level," he said.

The anniversary also coincides with the conclusion of a year-long research expedition into the park area by various agencies and universities, including the University of Queensland, Australia.


Labels: , ,

Sarawak Tourism Board to digitise all promo materials

SARAWAK Tourism Board (STB) will digitalise all promotional materials to increase its presence in ‘call for action’ booking portals to leapfrog its performance.

This is in line with the state government’s call for the use of digitalisation, said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“STB will still provide a face-to-face interaction marketing as human interaction in tourism business is inevitable and remains relevant although digital marketing is widely used,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

He said his ministry had set up a consultative platform known as Sarawak Tourism Forum to engage and get feedback from tourism players.

Some requests from industry players made through the forum had been implemented while a few others were still at discussion level, he added.

On the Sarawak Museum Campus, he said works were at about 35 per cent progress and the new museum gallery was expected to be open to the public in 2020.


Labels: ,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

RM8.98 bln in tourism receipts expected this year for Sarawak

KUCHING: Sarawak is targeting five million tourist arrivals and expecting RM8.98 billion in tourism receipts this year.

Minister of Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the tourist arrival figure stood at 1.67 million as of April this year.

“As of Jan to April this year, visitor arrival figures stood at 1.67 million, indicating an increase of 17.26 per cent as compared to the corresponding period in 2016,” he said in his winding up speech in the august House today.

Last year, Karim said the state received 4.66 million visitors, bringing in an estimated tourist receipt of RM8.37 billion.

Such arrival figures, he added, showed an increase of 3.19 per cent against that of 2015.

The minister said Malaysia received 26.8 million tourists last year, marking an increase of four per cent in arrivals growth and generating an estimated RM82.1 billion in tourist receipts.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

45 ladies to compete in this year’s Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan

KOTA KINABALU: Forty-five Unduk Ngadau participants will be competing for this year’s state-level Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan.

The chairperson of the harvest pageant committee, Joanna Datuk Kitingan said that the increased participation is in addition to the Kiulu representative.

Speaking at a press conference, Joanna said that this time around the pageant will emphasize on the participants’ ability to speak their mother tongue and appreciate their own culture.

She said it was the continuity of last year’s theme ‘Embrace your culture, speak your mother tongue.”

Joanna, who is also the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) women council chairperson, said that the traditional costumes continues to be their pursuits to make sure that each district brings out the different costumes that is seldom worn so that the Unduk Ngadau learn to appreciate the varied cultures and costumes.

“The Unduk Ngadau Pageant has come a long way. It has kept the traditions alive and promote our culture in terms of being proud to wear our traditional costume and promote our culture tourism as well,” said Joanna.

Meanwhile, for the evening Wear Ethnic Concept, which started four years ago, it will continue to be a competition so that the designers will able to showcase their creative creation during the Sodop Pintutunan on May 27.

The top seven creative best designs will be showcased during the Sodop Unduk Ngadau on May 29.


Labels: , , ,

The Kampung Legacy – A Journal of Sabah’s Traditional Baskets

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s rich basket-weaving heritage is being celebrated in Jennifer P Linggi’s latest book, The Kampung Legacy – A Journal of Sabah’s Traditional Baskets.

Launched here on Tuesday by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, the book serves as a useful guide and reference tool for craft-lovers, academicians, tourists and designers, who are keen to revive the traditional crafts or create new and contemporary designs.

Speaking at the official ceremony at Hilton Kota Kinabalu, Masidi heaped praise to Jennifer for her work and relentless effort to document the art of basket-making which forms an important fabric in Sabahan tradition and culture.

“It seems rather fitting that we are launching this wonderful book just in time for the coming Harvest Festival which is being celebrated in the month May, and it is with deepest hope that this effort will inspire many generations to continue Sabah’s heritage in traditional art and craft,” he added.

During her address, Jennifer said the book puts the spotlight on Sabah’s traditional craft of basket weaving which risks becoming a dying art as it is practiced by older women among traditional folk and slowly being forgotten by the younger generation.

“From 60 traditional baskets featured in the book, 20 of them are already extinct but there’s a possibility that we will lose two thirds of all the baskets as young people are not interested in the tedious process of basket weaving,” she said.

According to Jennifer, basket-weaving involves very specific skills at every stage of its process from harvesting and choosing the suitable rattan and bamboo, to designing and lastly, weaving them into masterfully crafted baskets, which are mainly used to store agricultural produce.