Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sarawak national parks to have modern canteens, info centres and shops

KUCHING: The Bako, Semenggoh and Lambir national parks will be upgraded to provide better facilities for visitors.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the parks would be equipped with modern canteens, information centres and souvenir shops.

“The rooms and accommodation will also be upgraded,” he told a press conference after chairing a briefing with state tourism industry players here yesterday.

He noted that some of the facilities at the national parks were not up to the mark.

For instance, he said there was no souvenir shop at Semenggoh where visitors could buy orang utan-themed handicrafts and items like key chains.

Besides upgrading the national parks, Johari said other infrastructure development projects would also be implemented to boost the tourism sector.

He said these included a study on establishing a heritage zone in the old city centre and providing good infrastructure along the Sarawak River to optimise its beauty and attraction.

In addition, he said a study was being done on developing a tourism belt from the Santubong and Bako peninsula to Teluk Melano in Sematan.

“This development will take 10 to 15 years. It will include modern accommodation and tourism infrastructure but will be planned with our national parks in mind.

“It will become our thrust in ecotourism promotion. What we want to do is to give a certain level of comfort to our tourists in accommodation, planned on ecotourism,” he said.