KUCHING, Nov 27: Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is expected to invest substantially to develop the Damai peninsular into a resort city in an effort to transform the seaside area into a major and bustling tourist destination.
SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain revealed that according to the tourism masterplan, the proposed ‘Damai Resort City’ project will see the development of new attractions and other initiatives.
“These will include new resorts, theme parks, cable cars, jungle trails and trekking facilities, wellness and health enclaves, marine and commercial as well as residential properties.
“This is in line with SEDC being chosen by state government to take a lead in the development of tourism products as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in November last year and tourism being one of the four priorities under the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he highlighted after a walkabout session with the local media fraternity at Sarawak Culture Village (SCV) today.
Abdul Aziz thus lauded and welcomed the various initiatives introduced by both state and federal governments to revitalise the local tourism industry which was badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The initiatives are most appropriate in mitigating the impacts of the pandemic on global air travel that would not likely to recover until 2024.
“Presently, many airlines have slipped into the red or operate with minimal fleet while having to charge high fares,” he noted.
Even though the National Economic Action Council has predicted that it will take four years for Malaysia’s tourism industry to recover, Abdul Aziz however believed that there was still hope for the players to woo travellers especially for the domestic market by offering saleable tourism products that were creative and innovative.
Like many other businesses, he admitted that the Tourism and Hospitality Division (THD) of SEDC was also facing a grim prospect due to the changes happening around the world and that the corporate sector needed to adapt to the new normal.
“A lot of things will not be like it used to be as the markets are threatened by the pandemic as well as development of new technologies.
“While some may take strategic retreat in order to ease their financial burden, there are also others who ventured into other fields on the road of economic recovery,” he shared.
Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz reported that among the development initiatives and improvement works which SEDC has undertaken last year are the refurbishment and upgrading works for 239 guest rooms and corridors, third floor function rooms and other related works at Puteri Wing of Riverside Majestic Hotel in Kuching.
Similar works were also undertaken at Grand Margherita Hotel and Sarawak Plaza shopping complex, Sunset Ballroom foyer at Damai Beach Resort as well as works for Damai Lagoon Resort and Spa.
“Together with the rest of the local tourism industry players, we record our gratitude and appreciation to the state and federal governments for the consistent efforts to boost the nation’s economy despite facing the challenges of complying to the new norms in order to win the battle against Covid-19,” he added.
SEDC general manager Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir and his deputy Rakayah Hamdan, THD director Mark Ferguson and SCV general manager Jane Lian Labang were among those present. — DayakDaily