By George Francis
MIRI - Miri City is now officially an urban resort destination for tourists with the newly opened international Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, the first in Borneo under Marriott International, said Sarawak Chief Minister Thursday night.
Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was speaking at the launch of Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, owned by his sister, Datuk Hjh Raziah Mahmud in a glittering ceremony at the hotel's poolside, attended by close business associates including Tuni Kyi - Vice President of China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia of Marriott International, Inc.
He said the launching resort of the resort was timely after the "rebranding" of the previously RIHGA Royal Hotel Miri.
The launch, he said, was the result of successful re-branding and business venture for mutual benefits.
"This reflects the improvement of Miri after attaining a city status last May, and being the first international standard hotel here, surely Marriott will succeed in Sarawak as in Peninsula Malaysia."
Hopefully Marriott, with 220 guest rooms and suites here, he said would venture to spread out further than Miri in Borneo.
Meanwhile, in an interview, Taib said, a few years back no one wanted to invest in the hotel industry in Sarawak so the government had to invest in it.
"Today the government don't have to do that anymore, beginning with RIHGA Royal Hotel, the first private hotel in Sarawak.
He said after the improvement of the services in tourism and hospitality industry, there was an increase in the number of tourists coming to Sarawak.
"Of course, it is time for us to build more hotels because we've passed what we called the 60 per cent occupancy rate for hotels in the state, which is a positive growth."
Taib said he was very happy with the current trend of development particularly in Miri, as a resort city as it has the advantages of strategically located next to the seaside and a lot of other attractions like the Niah and Mulu Caves.
Datuk Raziah said earlier, there was a demand for modern hotel for consumers that led to the choice of Marriott as the international hotel operator.
She assured that the choice had been justified bringing in corporate culture to blend with the local culture.
Marriott International Area Vice-President, Tuni Kyi, said Miri is one of over 2,800 hotels worldwide under Marriott, and the portfolio for Miri is the slogan is "It's the Marriott way".
Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend