Saturday, May 09, 2015

Borneo Jazz Festival augurs well for tourism industry

MIRI: The staging of the 10th edition of Borneo Jazz Festival this year augurs well for the tourism industry in particular this city which aspires to become a lively premier resort city in the region.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer, Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, said Mirians had indeed benefited from the festival as it had always generated extra income to the local businesses over the years.

“Last year more than RM17 million was injected into the local economy in a period of just a weekend.

“In terms of media value, the jazz festival contributed about RM10 million through the various printed pages and digital platforms, thanks to our media partners,” Ik Pahon said.

To encourage locals to have a sense of ownership in the festival a food and village mart will operate on both days – 20 stalls offering various items from crafts, food and drinks to souvenir items. Also on sale are the festival’s memorabilia such as performers’ CDs and T-shirts.

One of the stall participants, Irene Ungan, praised the organisers for continuing to make the festival a success which traders like her also benefitted from.

“Festival like this is a golden opportunity for us the craft makers to promote our products to locals and international buyers,” she said when met yesterday.

Irene, assisted by her niece Emily Keling Tom, has sold about RM2,000 worth of handicrafts during each festival since the last five years.

Besides the business opportunities, the festival also serves as an important platform for music students such as those from Tenby International School to have first-hand experience learning about the set-up of musical events.