Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sarawak Tourism Ministry mulls turning part of state capital into heritage site

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism will set up a panel of heritage experts to turn a corridor in the old Kuching quarters into a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Minister of Sarawak Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said his ministry had identified a stretch starting from Padungan to the Sarawak Museum as the potential corridor.

“Listing these areas as a Unesco World Heritage site will take a considerable amount of time.

We are however fortunate that these areas comply with all the criteria set by Unesco,” said Abang Johari at a press conference during a welfare visit at Kampung Masjid yesterday.

He also said the ministry would be looking at two heritage sites in Vietnam and Pulau Pinang as models for the Kuching heritage corridor.

Once listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, the maintenance of the old shophouses and other sites of interests would be borne by Unesco.

Abang Johari who is also Satok state assemblyman added that the volume of tourists arrival in Sarawak from Jan to March this year increased by six per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

“We have recorded 1.13 million tourists from Jan to March this year.

Forty per cent are domestic tourists while the remaining 60 per cent are international tourists,” he added.