STB celebrates partnerships, sponsors of RWMF, BJF 2022, launches AR mascots for virtual tourism

Sharzede (first row, fourth left), Abdul Karim (first row, fifth left), Snowdan (first row, sixth left), Hii (first row, seventh left), and the festival partners and supporters pose for a group photo after the presentation of appreciation mementos.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, June 7: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), the organiser of the two iconic festivals Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2022 and Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) 2022, hosted a special event to thank festival partners and supporters for their contributions and ensuring the success of both festivals, as well as to launch STB’s augmented reality (AR) mascots.

The appreciation ceremony was graced by the Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, along with Creative Industry and Performing Arts Deputy Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, and STB chief executive officer (CEO) Sharzede Salleh Askor.

During his speech, Abdul Karim thanked the partners, saying that their contributions will help STB fulfil its vision of bringing the world together in Sarawak through music.

“Standing here today, I see a united front and a heart-warming demonstration of public–private partnership collaboration that shows confidence and trust in our mission to make a positive and lasting difference in the music community in Sarawak.

“When we strive to build music tourism in Sarawak, we can’t build it alone. As the popular saying by Hellen Keller goes, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’.

“Each and everyone of you here plays an important role in bringing the world together in Sarawak through our iconic festivals as your contribution is vital to continue our important work of expanding music tourism in Sarawak and promoting our destinations via such iconic events,” he said today during the ‘RWMF and BJF Sponsors Appreciation and STB AR Mascot Launch’ at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

During the event, STB also debuted its first AR mascots, Sara, an Orang Ulu girl dressed in traditional attire, and Wawa, a Rhinoceros hornbill and Sarawak’s State emblem.

“Today, we are also taking the opportunity to share with our partners and friends the launching of STB’s first foray into AR technology in line with the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) and Tourism Master Plan’s goal of embarking on virtual tourism.

“The AR mascots can be deployed in strategic locations with Internet connectivity to welcome our visitors and also provide them with a fun and innovative tourism experience while exploring Sarawak.

“I am convinced that this latest development from STB will certainly bring the tourism industry to greater heights and increase Sarawak’s visibility worldwide, and I understand that there are more exciting AR and virtual reality (VR) tourism initiatives in the pipeline,” Abdul Karim stated.

Meanwhile, STB in its media release disclosed that STB’s agenda on ‘Responsible Tourism’ was also embedded in this year’s RWMF and BJF’s sponsorship which will see at least 2,000 plants sponsored by companies for STB’s ecoGreenPlanet programme.

“Through this greening initiative, members of the public will also be able to contribute to the programme where RM10 for each RM25 virtual RWMF or BJF ticket sold will be donated towards the tree-planting activities that will be held after the festivals,” STB noted.

STB added that the list of sponsors for RWMF and BJF comprise Malaysia Airlines (MAG), the official airline partner, Karuna Sarawak, the official ticketing partner, Canard Media, the food and beverage mart partner, Society Atelier Sarawak, the village mart partner, Grab, Petros, Rip Curl, Watsons, Coco Cabana Miri, Mid Valley City (Kuala Lumpur and Johor), Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre and The Waterfront Hotel, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), SKS Airways, Smart Leisure Travel, Gurney Plaza Penang, Hardwood Timber, Hornbill Skyways, Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA), MyCar, Sarawak Timber Association (STA), and Trienekens Sarawak. — DayakDaily