Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marketing key to future Sarawak tourism boost

KUCHING: Marketing will be the key to help the Sarawak tourism sector grow further as the land of hornbills is packed with unique tourist attractions and rich resources.

Sarawak’s total tourist arrival has finally breached the four million mark last year, recording 4,069,023 – as indicated by the figures from the Immigration Department of Sarawak.

According to USCI Communications Sdn Bhd managing director, Gracie Geikie, “The growth in Sarawak’s tourism sector is comfortable. I would look at growth as in yield rather than numbers. I believe bringing in 50 tourists staying two weeks is better than 100 people staying one night.”

Geikie noted during an interview with The Borneo Post that the impact would be different, adding that the former would definitely bring in more revenue to the destination.

She added that Sarawak provided more of an experiential holiday, “Kuching is not the ultra city with many skyscrapers and Ferris wheels. We are also not a shopping haven.”

Instead, Geikie pointed out that the state would be a potential ethnobotany destination yet, this was one area that was least researched and least marketed as a tourism product.

“We have abundant natural resources with our jungles and national parks. In addition to that, we have 27 tribal groups making us rich in culture as well. What we need now is more marketing and promotion.

“We have a gem sitting there waiting to be better discovered,” she explained.

The managing director believed that everyone should play a part in helping the industry forward and that it required a concerted effort from all sectors.

“It is all about marketing at this point and it should be an ongoing effort. It does not mean that when you are better known and popular than you can stop. You have to keep the momentum going,” she said.