Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Proposal to hike entry fees at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

KUCHING: Foreign visitors going to the iconic Semenggoh Wildlife Centre — where the Orang Utan primates live in semi-wild conditions — maybe asked to pay more when visiting next time.

At the moment, these visitors including domestic tourists and locals pay only RM3 entry fee but this amount has been found to be insufficient to cover the regular upkeep of the place despite it receiving 300,000 visitors every year.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, who made suggestion for the fee increase, said foreign visitors should be paying RM10 or roughly US3 dollars which he considered to be still cheap.

“I have told the Sarawak Forestry Corporation to consider the suggestion. They have done a Cabinet paper to that effect. Whether approved or not, I do not know. I have yet to meet the chief minister on the matter,” he said during the Meet-The People function at Kampung Garung, Jalan Puncak Borneo, 40km from here on Sunday evening.

Dawos, who is Mambong MP, also mentioned his vision to turn Jalan Puncak Borneo, which leads to Borneo Heights Resort, into a new tourism icon.

He said this was because, at the moment, tourists visiting Semenggoh Wildlife Centre also at Jalan Puncak Borneo often did not go further up the road to explore the other attractions available.

As such, he pledged to ask for an allocation of RM200,000 to upgrade the weekend market at Kampung Garung into a Biperoh Tourism Market which would become a new tourist destination.

“Those tourists, after visiting Semenggoh, may ask ‘what are the other attractions along Jalan Puncak Borneo?’

“Well, we have the hot spring in Annah Rais, tourist information centre at Kampung Timurang where there is a rafflesia garden, and soon the Biperoh Tourism Market,” he said.

On the Biperoh Tourism Market, he said facilities such as stalls would be set up for the sale of authentic Bidayuh cuisine, farm and jungle produce, and handicrafts.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Proposal to hike entry fees at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

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