Saturday, May 14, 2016

Borneo Jazz Fest draws international crowd

MIRI: The Borneo Jazz Festival, which entered its eleventh year this year, has become an iconic and internationally recognized festival attracting many festival goers and tourists besides enhancing the sustainability of the local tourism industry.

Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and chief executive officer of Sarawak Tourism Board Datu Ik Pahon Joyik said the niche event attracted around 4,000 audience members last year including expatriates working in the state and neighbouring countries.

Forty per cent of the festival goers were non-Malaysians.

“For many, this festival has become more than just a yearly weekend entertainment but our local business community has benefited with RM17 million being injected into the local economy and roughly RM10 million worth of international media value being added to Miri generating interest in the destination,” he said at the welcoming sunset dinner for media representatives, performers, sponsors and organising committee members hosted by Miri Marriott Resort & Spa.

Also present were Miri Resident Antonio Kahti Galis, Miri Marriott Resort and Spa’s Cluster general manager Marc Cosyns, ParkCity Everly Hotel Miri general manager Andrew Law, Malaysia Airlines chief commercial officer Paul Simmons and Sarawak Tourism Board’s corporate communications director Angelina Patricia Bateman.

Ik Pahon pointed out that despite many setbacks and challenges, predominantly due to dynamics within the industry, the festival has prevailed and now reached its 11th edition.

“We’ve also managed to assemble a diverse set of artistes from around the globe, and this year’s festival is one of our most decorated yet, with multi-award winners and critically acclaimed musicians gracing our stage,” he said.

He thanked all those involved in ensuring the success of the festival, which he said created 11 years ago under the name ‘Miri International Jazz Festival’ was designed to support Miri’s status as a Resort City.

Indeed he said Miri has proven itself as a Resort City, and being a gateway to the state’s famed national parks, continued to attract tourists besides investors.

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