RWMF 2019 offers cashless option

Abdul Karim (second from right) with Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Sharzede Salleh Askor (third from right) and other tourism stakeholders at the RWMF 2019 press conference.

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, May 28: Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 (RWMF) will feature Sarawak Pay as a payment option for the purchase of tickets online and at the festival and also at the food and craft booths.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah reckoned the cashless system would encourage more spending among the visitors.

“Sarawak Pay will be offering up to 15 per cent cashback as well. So, festival goers will also benefit by using the app,” he told a press conference here today.

On the RWMF itself, he said it was internationally recognised as a world music event that had put Sarawak on the tourism map, where world music enthusiasts and festival-goers are concerned.

“As international awareness and promotions continue, I believe Sarawak will continue to bring in more visitors, including those from overseas, especially when the event coincides with the ongoing VSC (Visit Sarawak Campaign)’s main themes of Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals (CANFF).

“This year is RWMF’s 22nd edition. Thus, it is a great asset in increasing awareness internationally on everything that Sarawak has to offer in terms of CANFF. Visitors know that we not only have raw attractions such as our nature, but we have large-scale entertainment and exciting festivals as well,” Abdul Karim said.

On the power of the festival to woo foreigners, Abdul Karim said of the more than 22,000 people who attended the RWMF last year, he said 40 per cent were non-Malaysians, meaning about 9,000 foreigners dropped by.

“This is very encouraging. These visitors not only attend the festival but they also explore the culture and nature that Sarawak has to offer, and they return to their home countries with tales on the experiences to be had in Sarawak,” he said.

To another question on Sarawak Tourism Board (STB)’s marketing strategy for RWMF, Rainforest Fringe Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival together under the ‘Three Festivals, One Destination’ campaign, Abdul Karim said it was very ambitious and he supported it wholeheartedly.

“I believe it can attract visitors by promoting that there is much be seen in terms of festivals throughout Sarawak as a whole. It offers seasonal tourists with an option for lengthy travelling in Sarawak.

“For long-haul visitors, we need to incentivise their long-flight time with a promise of back-to-back entertainment, quality festivals and attractions that aren’t too hard on the wallet. The “Three Festivals, One Destination” promotions give them this, and also brings them to explore not just the capital city but also Miri and possibly beyond into the interior, as Miri is our northern gateway,” he explained. — DayakDaily