Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Kuching can be a major tourism draw

KUCHING: Kuching has great potential to be a city that thrives on tourism as the major thrust of its economy, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

Comparing it to popular tourist attractions in other countries, he said Kuching is unique in a sense that it has wildlife centres or national parks located within its periphery.

“Where can you find a city that is only 26 km away from a wildlife centre whose star residents are our world-famous orangutans? What about the Kuching Wetlands National Park that is only 15 km away and the newest addition to national parks within the vicinity of Kuching city? Where else in the world you have four national parks within a 30km radius of the city?

“Kuching city tourism planners and players would do well to capitalise on these potentials in order to enhance its tourist dollar receipts and create spin-offs for other sectors of the economy such as transportation, food, homestays and hotel services,” he said in his speech read by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the 28th Kuching City Anniversary Celebration and Kuching Festival opening ceremony which was graced by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib at MBKS Theatre here on Monday.

He added that the completion of the world-class Sarawak Museum Campus and Heritage Trail by 2020 will also put another feather in the cap for Kuching as an important attraction for tourists.

Apart from being a gateway to nature and adventure tourism, Adenan said the city currently boasts of four private medical centres that have received significant patronage from people across the border in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“Kuching is also having its fair share of hosting international conferences and conventions. The Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) which started from humble beginnings 10 years ago,has won 23 bids until June this year.

“This will translate to over RM13.5 million in direct delegate expenditure and over 7,000 in total delegate numbers,” he revealed, adding that SCB also won the right to bid for 25 additional business events this year which will no doubt be a great boost to the economy of Kuching.

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