Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poser over interesting places in Miri

MIRI: Whenever a friend from out of town comes to visit, the one question they often ask is: What are the interesting places to visit in Miri?

Though it seems like a simple question, shamefully, I can’t answer the question.

The typical places of interest like the Grand Old Lady on top of Canada Hill, Lambir National Park, Tusan Beach, Borneo Tropical Rainforest, etc are, to me, the ‘usual’ tourist attractions. I am sure many would agree with me.

But are they sufficient enough to keep tourists and travellers coming back?

An avid traveller and businessman, Eric Chin, pointed out that tourism products are vital to the industry.

“But, do the relevant authorities realise that the itinerary for tourists is equally important?” Chin asked during an interview recently.

A travel agent whom Chin met recently had told him that there are many attractions that Sarawak Tourism could offer but said the government and industry players may not have realised the importance of itinerary.

“The latest attraction is none other than Tusan Beach where people could enjoy the beautiful blue tears. If it is merely enjoying the scenery after 30 minutes of driving for about 30 km from Miri City, it may not be worth the petrol and the ride,” he said.

Itinerary package

Promotional strategy, he insisted, should be made in a way that it prepares itinerary packages from place to place that keep tourists occupied, making it worth their money and flight tickets.

“On this matter, the government should work hand-in-hand with the private sector to develop these places, to make them interesting,” he said, suggesting that chalets and eateries as well as water sports facilities be built here, as a way to keep visitors coming back.

“From beach sunbathing, volley ball court, snorkelling to observing the natural ‘Blue Tears’ phenomena etc., if these activities are offered to tourists, I am sure that the latter could enjoy themselves very much,” he said.

Offering tax return to the private sector as a way to appreciate their effort in developing the tourism industry is a great way that the government could consider, Chin suggested.

“Private companies want to help develop the industry. The government could provide financial support or planning assistance, either way or both, it is surely a win-win situation for the betterment of our economy and tourism industry.”

Preserve, not Demolish

Chin went on to criticise the government’s bold move in removing and rebuilding the old buildings and structures, making Miri slowly lose its identity and historical heritage.

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