Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RM38m to upgrade tourist facilities in Sarawak

KUCHING: Sarawak plans to spend RM38 million in the next five years to upgrade tourist facilities at four of the state's popular national parks.

They are Gunung Gading, Bako, the Kuching Wetlands and Lambir. The money will also go towards maintaining areas with tourism potential like the Bau limestone caves.

State Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said one of the major upgrades at Bako National Park were accommodation facilities.

He said the accommodation at the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC)-managed park was woeful.

"Look at Bako National Park, a very nice, very renowned national park but unfortunately, the facilities are not as expected," he said after the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) meeting here on Monday.

The park, the state's oldest and also the smallest, is approximately 40km from here.

Covering an area of 27.27sq km and situated at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula, the park boasts a spectacular coastline of steep sandstone cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays.

The park, which can only be reached by a 20-minute boat ride from Kampung Bako, also boasts abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls and trekking trails.

"The accommodation must be of certain standard. They must be clean with basic facilities," said Abang Johari.

He said RM5 million had been allocated to upgrade the facilities at Bako. He also said the bureaucratic management style of the parks would be disposed off to make it "more in line with the private sector practice".