Holistic eco-tourism devpt in Telang Usang preferable, says Dennis

Dennis Ngau - file pic

By D’Drift Team

MIRI, July 8: Telang Usang assemblyman Dennis Ngau prefers to see eco-tourism industry in his area to be developed holistically.

“Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the Ministry of Tourism have put a lot of effort into eco-tourism which has many potential products.

“So, I would like to suggest to the relevant authorities to relook at these attractions throughout Sarawak. There must be a holistic development, marketing and community participation,” Ngau told D’Drift Team here yesterday.

He said currently, many eco-tourism products were promoted on piecemeal basis such as traveling agents trying to promote inbound tourism.

However, these agents are facing issues such as logistics as many eco-tourism products are located in rural areas.

“Food and lodging may not be expensive but logistics issue is definitely the case,” he said, citing the case of Usun Apau Waterfall where the main hindrance of bringing tourists there is logistics.

“Having meals in a longhouse, fishing, spawning fish in Long Bemang, mountain trekking, bumpy Four-Wheel-Drive vehicles can be adventurous and be part of the experience and  of the tourism product.  Even a longhouse with 335 doors is already something amazing.  It is something that the West Malaysians have never seen before.

“However, logistics needed to be well established. If visiting Usun Apau Waterfall is as expensive as going to Australia. How many would want to make that attempt?,” he asked.

Dennis also brought up the Mulu Caves as an example, as it is cheaper to visit Singapore than going there, and most locals who take the Mulu Caves for granted would prefer to go to Singapore due to cost factor.

“To stir up interests in local tourism, the locals must first change their mindsets while the the government must intervene to make the trip to the Mulu Caves more accessible of which the Sarawak government is currently working on,” he stressed.

On the famous Loagan Bunut Lake, Dennis said, as the lake is drying up some months in a year, thus it would only able to attract visitors during that particular time.

On Usun Apau, he hoped that a new road would be constructed to link to certain parts near the waterfall to allow easier accessibility.

“The top priority now is to make Usun Apau more reachable to locals and domestic tourists to witness the historical site which indicated a past civilisation. And of course the main attraction is the waterfall itself which is the tallest in the country at 800 metres,” he added.-DayakDaily