Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sarawak needs to reinvent to draw tourists

LUNDU: Something new and different to attract more tourists had to be found although ethnic culture, hospitality and friendliness have been major selling points in the tourism sector for years.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said this when officiating at the ‘Pesta Lundu-Sematan 2010’ at the waterfront here yesterday.

Taib said: “The state’s main advantage in tourism is ecotourism. We provide relaxation and stress relief for our tourists here.”

On the need to reinvent to create ‘something new’ to draw tourists, he suggested that assets such as culture and the way of life of the people of Sarawak could be ‘tweaked a little bit’ to suit the tastes and preferences of foreign visitors.

“For example, some foreign tourists could not handle spicy delicacies. Maybe we could lessen the spiciness a little. Western tourists are used to bathe in hot water (due to their weather), therefore all our ‘homestays’ or tourist accommodation could provide hot water,” Taib said.

As for handicrafts, maybe they could be made smaller for ease of handling when boarding a plane, he added.

He said Sarawak had a lot of heritage that could be introduced to the world, but the question was how to get more people to come and admire the sites.

Taib said various activities and programmes could be created to complement the beautiful scenery in the state.

“They could incorporate tourists’ favourite activities. We could organise events that appeal to them. Tourism enables small areas like Sematan-Lundu to develop. The beauty of tourism is that it brings the market to us,” he said.

He suggested the holding of festivals as a way to boost local tourism.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sarawak needs to reinvent to draw tourists

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