Thursday, March 17, 2011

BIMP-EAGA Tourism Initiative To Capitalise On Borneo's WW2-Related Events

KUCHING -- A regional tourism initiative spearheaded by the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines-East Asean Economic Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is expected to attract more tourists to Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan, especially for World War Two (WW2) commemorative events, beginning this year.

Sarawak Tourism and Heritage Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Ik Pahon said today the relevant agencies from the two states and Labuan would discuss such a collaboration next month to give tourists from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom more choice to attend WW2-related events through the Borneo Heritage Trail.

"It will be a Borneo circuit and I am confident that by this November, more friends from outside Sarawak whose parents may have also been involved and took part in the fighting in WW2, will be able to stay here longer and contribute towards the enrichment of our shared historical heritage," he said when opening the Wartime Heritage Exhibition 2011 at the Sarawak Arts Museum, here.

He said ongoing tourism promotions on wartime-related events and historical heritage sites, including the Heroes Monument in Kuching, Sandakan Memorial Park and Labuan War Cemetery, were fragmented.

Another site was the former prisoners-of-war campsite at the Batu Lintang College here, which houses a mini museum, and where overseas visitors, among them Australian groups, came to see the place where their forefathers were held captive during the war, he said.

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