Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sarawak Tourism Ministry to improve facilities in national parks

KUCHING: The Tourism Ministry will use the federal allocation of RM38 million to upgrade the existing facilities in the various national parks in the state which are still not up to standard.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said one of the areas that the government was focusing on was improving accommodation facilities in the national parks.

“We have several national parks and they are all blessed with natural attraction and beauty but unfortunately the existing accommodation facilities that we have are below expectation,” he said.

He said as a new approach and strategy to further promote the state’s unique natural attraction and beauty the state government together with the private sector will focus on the upgrading of such facilities to attract more tourist arrivals to the state.

“What happens is we have national parks and we have to maintain the image of national parks with infrastructure which is environmentally friendly.

“For example, Bako National Park is a very nice national park, very renowned national park, but unfortunately the facilities there are not as expected.

“So we have to create new comfortable accommodation in the national park which has to be planned with the park management,” he said.

He said this was because while environment and accommodation had to be balanced the latter must at least be of certain standard in order to provide some kind of comfort to visitors.

“It must be eco friendly with eco sort of design in national parks. Not as what we see today and that is why the feedback we got from visitors is that accommodations at national parks are not up to standard,” he disclosed.

He told reporters this at a media conference when announcing the appointments of new members of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) here yesterday.