Friday, January 18, 2013

Federal government help urged for Sarawak’s tourism industry

MIRI: Sarawak deserves more attention and support in as far as tourism is concerned from the federal government.

Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin said such commitment from the federal was vital in helping the state to tap deeper in (CAN) culture, adventure and nature-based tourism products which were most preferred by Europeans.

“Sabah is very successful in this area and its airport is overflowing with international flights.

“I thus feel it is time the federal tourism ministry give more attention to Sarawak and help the industry players here to further explore the tourism potential for international market,” he said when met during the conferment of state awards by the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin at Miri Marriott Resort and Spa here yesterday.

Citing Miri as an example, Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman said that the local authority and tourism players had been striving hard to project Miri as a lively and vibrant resort city among domestic and international markets but the response so far was still below expectation.

Although the city is blessed with many tourism products there was nothing much the tourism operators could do without ample air connectivity.

He said the poor connectivity had truly frustrated the business and Sarawak tourism operators here.

He said the organising committee of the annual Borneo International Yachting Challenge was facing financial constraint to further promote the event at the international level due to very low support from the tourism ministry at the federal level.