Sarawak govt looking to rev up tourism industry with multi-pronged approach

Ting (front, left) and Dennis (front, second left) giving their thumbs-up during the meeting earlier today (Nov 4, 2021) in Miri.

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By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Nov 4: Sarawak is gearing up to restart its tourism industry using a multi-pronged approach of strategic actions and plans.

“We should now start preparing to build a more resilient tourism industry post-Covid-19,” emphasised Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew earlier today after chairing a Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) meeting (Bil. 3/2021) in Miri.


Citing the Sarawak Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) with was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on July 22 this year, Ting said that it provided a way forward for Sarawak to become a developed state by 2030 and for the people to obtain higher income.

“Together with the active participation of all tourism industry players, my ministry has also came up with Tourism Aspirations under the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy, formerly known as Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC), that ‘by 2030, Sarawak will be a leading destination for eco-tourism and business events in the ASEAN Region driven by empowered communities to conserve heritage, culture and biodiversity and to promote investment and development through responsible actions,'” Ting pointed out.

He revealed that the Sarawak government is also finalising the 3rd Sarawak Tourism Master Plan 2021-2035 which is expected to be completed and launched in December 2021, adding that the State government has also put emphasis on regional development through Regional Development Plans.

“My ministry will ensure policies and plans for tourism, arts and culture in these masterplans are translated into action plans in stages,” Ting opined.

Sarawak opened its borders to interstate travel by fully vaccinated travellers from West Malaysia, Labuan, and Sabah without the need to undergo quarantine and Covid-19 swab tests effective October 11 this year.

Besides opening the borders, the ministry is also working closely with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOT) to increase the flight connectivity.

“With effect from November 1 2021, we have increased the flight frequency from 89 per week to 233 per week. Sarawak is looking forward to the reopening of its borders with Brunei and Singapore to restart the State’s cross-border tourism industry,” Ting said.

“Scoot Airlines is now flying twice weekly to Kuching from Singapore. Soon, it will also fly twice weekly from Singapore to Miri at the beginning of 2022. This will help the tourism industry to restart,” he added.

Ting noted that business, arts, culture and heritage events are gradually being reactivated as standard operating procedures (SOPs) are further relaxed and this has greatly encouraged industry players after being inactive for such a long period.

Also present at the STCC meeting today were Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chairman Dennis Ngau who is also the Telang Usan assemblyman, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Hii Chang Kee, STB chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor and Miri Division Resident Mohd Abdul Aziz Yusoff. — DayakDaily