By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Nov 10: New local natural attractions in Bau district should be developed in order to be an effective destination and integral to success.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew asserted that ecotourism, being a niche market of tourism, is growing in popularity over the years as tourists become more environmentally conscious.
As such, he said Sarawak with its vast lush green resources should capitalise on this rising demand by introducing new ecotourism products, and to conserve and preserve the existing attractions.
Replying to Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep during the questions and answers session at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly today, Ting said to achieve these aspirations, the development of domestic tourism attractions for new areas in Tasik Biru or elsewhere within Sarawak would be carried out by his ministry in collaboration with the relevant government agencies, local authority, tourism industry players, academic institutions, no-governmental organisations and most importantly the local community.
“New local natural attractions such as Satow Waterfall, Bronang Waterfall, Oyak Muot Waterfall, Libuan Pinomu, etc in Bau District should be developed by providing accessibility and basic facilities such as public toilets, changing rooms, carparks, gazebo, trails, signage, food outlets and more.
“It should be a package together with other major attractions in Bau district to facilitate a comprehensive experience for visitors. At the same time, we must work with local communities by involving them in community-based tourism such as homestays, handicraft, local host guides and responsible tourism practices,” Ting said.
In order to be sustainable, he pointed that domestic tourism attractions must take full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and most importantly host communities.
When asked on other potential areas which the government could consider to be packaged as tourist attractions in Tasik Biru or Bau areas, Ting listed Siniawan Night Market, Siniawan Weekend Streetfood, Pasar Serikin, Catholic Memorial Pilgrimage Center at Mount Singai, Wind Caves, Fairy Caves, Tasik Biru, Libiki Bamboo Resort, Keloyan Resort, Bung Beratak, Bung Jagoi Heritage Centre, Mount Singai, Gunung Beronang, Sleeping Lady and Chinese Temples.
He also mentioned Kampung Tringgus Bong, Tringgus Homestay, Badul Homestay, Mount Serumbu, Borneo Tribal Village, Gunung Gajah and Bau Gold Mines history.
“The ministry will work closely with Sarawak Tourism Board to promote domestic attractions through frequent engagement with divisional tourism task force headed by Residents to identify creative packaging of the local attractions in a division or district, monthly tourism product update sessions for the industry players, promoting local attractions through Sarawak Travel App and portal together with other social media.
“We will also encourage and train local communities to become local tourism volunteers and ambassadors, encourage domestic tourism through campaigns like ‘Sia Sitok’ and organise familiarisation trips for tour operators, media and influencers,” Ting said. — DayakDaily