By Nancy Nais
KOTA SAMARAHAN, Sept 2: Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will introduce new discount rates for other Malaysians who wish to visit the state.
Following the positive response from the Sia Sitok Sarawak intra-state tourism campaign, Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he received many inquiries from Peninsular Malaysians whether they too could enjoy the same 50 per cent discount on tourism attractions.
Currently, Sia Sitok Sarawak is only applicable for Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians residing in Sarawak with work permits to experience and enjoy the beauty the state has to offer.
This is part of the Sarawak government’s efforts to boost and revitalise Sarawak’s tourism sector, which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sia Sitok Sarawak offers over 30 exciting attractions, tours and activities in Kuching, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Mulu which includes day trips, non-overnight tours as well as full board multiple day trips including accommodation and meals.
Among the unique and enticing packages and activities were the Kg. Sting overnight adventure in Bengoh; Sarawak river sunset cruise; Irrawaddy dolphin cruise at Santubong; bird watching at Kubah National Park; fun dive day trip at Satang Island; evening Kuching Wetland Tour; Bako National Park; Tanjong Datu National Park Tour; the mighty Rajang river and longhouse day trip; Bintangor and Sarikei countryside day trip; Bintulu explorer, Mukah discovery – The Melanau Heartland and Silabur caving and hiking.
“These packages for Sarawakians to visit and enjoy received very well and encouraging response due to the big 50 percent discount. However, the discount is only for Sarawakians.
“We will introduce a new rate for other Malaysians who wish to visit Sarawak, but the discount will not be 50 percent,” Abdul Karim said after attending Merdeka @ Komuniti program and briefing on current issues at Kota Samarahan Civic Centre, today.
Abdul Karim, who is also the Minister of Youth and Sports, said Sia Sitok Sarawak had also opened up more employment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sectors, as many in the industry had lost their jobs due to the enforcement of Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 1.
Hoping to see positive and good things by end of the year, Abdul Karim also pointed that with effect Sept 1, all domestic flights have resumed their normal schedules.
“As we are all aware, visitors arrivals have dropped as expected, because we had to close our border. However, since yesterday, we have opened up our air space for flights to return back to normal. This will be a good boost for visitors into Sarawak.
“With this, I believe many Malaysians or foreigners residing in other states of Malaysia will come and visit to Sarawak. Due to overseas restriction and the fear of Covid-19 in other countries, they will take their holiday within the country.
“Furthermore, quarantine will no longer be imposed for Malaysians or foreigners living in Malaysia who want to enter Sarawak. They can come anytime, but they are subject to random Covid-19 swab test upon arrival,” Abdul Karim said, adding that only those coming from other countries will have to go for the compulsory 14-day quarantine.—DayakDaily