Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Don’t rely on government to promote tourism, Sarawak tourism players told

MIRI: The private sector, especially tourism industry players, were yesterday told not to rely on the government when promoting local tourism; instead they should be creative and be more innovative when it comes to introducing Malaysia to the curious world.

“Malaysia is celebrating its Year of Festival this year, a continuation of the Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Therefore, instead of waiting for the government’s effort, the private sector must come in with their own initiative,” said Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the launch of Miri City’s 10th anniversary logo and programme booklet.

“Miri is a fine example, as it is an entrance to Northern Sarawak and the gateway to many natural heritage, its colourful culture and people; these are the products that are readily available.

“The point is, how to brand, package and promote it to the curiosity of the world,” he added.

Sharing his travel experiences, Abang Johari compared the local promotion method to that of the foreigners, which he said ought to be adopted.

“It is time for travel agencies to change the way they market tourism service to suit the market in any way it needs, identify tourist needs and re-brand to fit into this particular market,” he said.

On this note, he also called for a strategic plan to promote Miri.

“All the products (natural heritage) are available. What they (industry players) need to do is to capitalise on infrastructure, improve and upgrade the facility to fit the tourists and be creative when presenting the product,” he added.