Friday, April 29, 2011

Tourism players call for Borneo Cultural Festival to be retained

SIBU: Taken aback by the abrupt scrapping of the Borneo Cultural Festival, tourism players here called on Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) to either retract its decision or entrust NGOs to organise the event.

This was because the local tourism industry was just starting to take off with the coming of another low cost carrier, slated in July.

Local tour operators said the move had upset their plans and they suggested that NGOs such as United Chinese Association (UCA) take over from SMC to organise the festival.

“It is very sad and indeed I feel bad that BCF, among the biggest tourist attraction events in Sibu had been scrapped. The timing could not have been worse as FireFly is set to spread its wings here this July.

“What a pity that it has to turn out this way. Otherwise with the good air connectivity and competitive airfares, the event could have been effectively promoted as more tourists from the Peninsula would be enticed to come for the BCF,” managing director of Equitorial Tours and Travel Sdn Bhd Robert Tan told The Borneo Post yesterday, urging SMC to consider retracting its decision.

Tan argued that the better connectivity could have spurred more economic activities for the locals to cushion the higher cost of living, pointing out that the event ought to have been organised on a grander scale.

SMC during its council meeting on Wednesday, decided to scrap the event, which entered its ninth year.

Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King was reported to have said the decision was made with a heavy heart, given that majority of the local populace did not appreciate the work of the Sibu BN Visionary Team, compelling them to cancel the signature event.

Tan said BCF had become very popular with the locals and tourists alike, pulling out the ‘plug’ now would cause Sibu to further lag behind Kuching and Miri in terms of tourism products.

Continue reading at: Tourism players call for Borneo Cultural Festival to be retained

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