Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Batang Ai Longhouse Resort now Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat

KUCHING: Batang Ai Longhouse Resort is now renamed Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat following a change of ownership from Hilton Hotel Kuching to Planet Borneo Lodge Management Sdn Bhd.

Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg witnessed the symbolic key handing-over from John Warmington, general manager of Hilton Hotel Kuching, to Samat Othman, chairman of Aiman Planet Borneo Group of Companies at a ceremony held at Hilton Hotel here yesterday.

In her welcoming address, director of operation for Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat Gracie Geikie said the new management’s immediate plan is to rebrand and position the resort as a premium nature and wellness resort.

She added facilities at the resort would be refurbished and services revamped while pledging that no major construction was to take place in any way that would inconvenience clients.

Gracie disclosed that three major events would be hosted at the Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat this year and in 2017. Among them will be Photography Challenge and Extreme Bike Challenge.

She said small conferences pertaining to eco-tourism, nature and wildlife would also be organised at the 20-year-old resort.

While a series of industry and trade briefings had been held in the city and Kuala Lumpur, she said she would take similar sessions to Kota Kinabalu and Hong Kong in the near future.

On the resort, she said: “A lot of people talk about the distance, saying that it is a setback. But I disagree.”

She asserted that visitors could savour the beautiful country sight on the journey, not to mention the stops at Serian and Lachau.

“They can sample local food and buy souvenirs. After that, they can go to Sibu and other places as well.”

Gracie was pleased to note that almost all the staff who had been with the resort since its opening in 1995 had stayed with the new management.

She also pledged to work closely with the Sarawak Tourism Federation and Sarawak Convention Bureau to promote and position the resort as a globally renowned tourism spot.