Monday, March 18, 2013

Specially tailored packages boost eco-tourism in Sarawak

KUCHING: The state government has come out with eco-tourism packages to boost eco-tourism activities in the state.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development) Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said the packages were specially tailored with cooperation between the state Tourism Ministry and Entrepreneur Development Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department.

“The eco-tourism packages will be based on the our strengths such as our richness in flora and fauna, culture and multi-racial lifestyles, history, tradition and the uniqueness of our food and arts,” he said when representing Resource Planning and Environment Second Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan at the official opening of Fifty Six (56) Hotel at Jalan Tun Jugah here yesterday.

Also present were 56 Hotel chairman Tong Guek Seng, Industrial Estate Development Assistant Minister Datuk Peter Nansian, China’s Consul-General in Kuching, Li Shugang; Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, Sadong Jaya assemblyman Aidel Lariwoo, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni and Kuching District police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad.

Naroden in his speech gave credit to Tong, whom he knew as ‘Ahui’ since he became an assemblyman in the 1990s, describing him as far-sighted, determined and hardworking. He said Tong’s construction company had grown from a small-time contractor to a big multi-million ringgit player in several sectors, including owning 56 Hotel.

“I urge all contractors, whether Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera to follow in his footsteps. Ahui can be a role model for other entrepreneurs,” said Naroden who is also Resource Planning Assistant Minister.

He said it is timely for 56 Hotel to part of the hotel business in the city, considering Kuching is one of the gateways to the state for tourists.

“If we estimate around 30 million tourists visiting Malaysia in year 2020, we definitely need more hotels, food and drink premises, attractive tourist destinations, taxis, buses and tourist guides.”

As a hotel that will receive overseas or local guests, it is important for provide quality services and obtain halal certification although not owned by a Muslim.

“When a hotel or its restaurants are certified halal, it means that all the services offered are of quality and the food prepared hygienically. Halal food and drinks are not necessarily consumed by Muslims only but also non-Muslims as they also do not want their food and drinks to be contaminated,” he said.