STB eyes Singapore market with Visit Sarawak Year logo unveiling

(from second right) Lee, Sharzede and others proudly showing the Visit Sarawak logo after its unveiling.

SINGAPORE, Oct 19: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) unveiled the Visit Sarawak Year logo, as a precursor to its official launch in January, at an industry event here last night.

The logo will be the anchor emblem for the Visit Sarawak campaign.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the Visit Sarawak campaign was envisioned to promote Sarawak as a preferred tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

“The tagline `More to Discover’ underscores STB’s strategy to position the state as a plethora of culture, adventure, nature, food, and festivals (CANFF) offerings that are not found anywhere else in the world, and ready to be discovered,” he said.

(from third left) Lee and Sharzede poses with STB staff and guests before the event.

Lee revealed that in the first seven months of this year, Sarawak recorded a 16.5 per cent increase in tourist arrivals. This is a good indicator of gaining interests from travellers from the Singapore market.

He attributed it to the increased flights from Singapore through Scoot, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, which are making daily trips.

“This gives us a total of more than 600 seats available every day from Singapore to Kuching,” he said.

The three-day, two-night Kuching getaway is one of the packages favoured by Singaporeans, he added, with Central Sarawak being a rising attraction. Stretching from Sibu (on the lower Batang Rejang) to Kapit and Bintulu and north-eastward along the coast to Bintulu and Miri, Central Sarawak offers some great river journeys, national parks and modern urban conveniences.

The Sibu Heritage Centre, the Niah National Park, the Tua Pek Kong temple and Fort Sylvia are some key attractions within this region.

“We will be looking to intensify efforts to increase arrivals from Singapore. In the coming years, Singaporeans can look forward to more new packages that will provide competitively priced offerings focusing on culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals. We will also look forward to exploring how we can partner Singapore as our twin city,” Lee said.

Singapore will be a central hub for STB’s marketing strategies as the state government would be setting up an office in Singapore next year.

Sarawak recorded a total spending of RM8.59 billion from tourists last year, which accounted for 7.9 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). International arrivals clocked in at 2.6 million in 2017. Asean countries were a key source of visitors to the state, where they accounted for 48.98 per cent or 2.38 million arrivals in 2017.

Some of the key international markets for Visit Sarawak will be the UK, Germany, the Benelux, China, Australia, and Asean countries.

STB chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor, who was also present, said, “Digital will be a large part of our campaign. Besides creating content on digital platforms to reach out to our markets, we are also developing a mobile app that will anchor the discovery process for all our visitors.”

STB’s new multi-coloured logo spells out `Sarawak’ with the tagline, `More to discover’ to represent the aspirations of the campaign.

Comprising seven colours in curled script, the red and yellow represent the state flag. Orange represents the strong spirit and vibrant energy of the different ethnic communities within Sarawak, which is quintessential to Sarawak’s diverse tourism proposition.

Green is used to represent the verdant rainforests abundant with wildlife, while blue is used to represent the calmness of the ocean along Sarawak’s long coastline.

The uniqueness of the logo is augmented by the hornbill, which replaces the letter `A’, representing Sarawak’s moniker, `Bumi Kenyalang’, or `Land of the Hornbills’ that the state has been known for many years: It is also an important symbol of luck to the indigenous people of Sarawak.

The industry event featured a performance by award-winning Sarawakian songstress Dayang Nurfaizah and Tuku Kame — an award-winning world music band who has conducted global tours as a prelude to the offerings of the campaign. — DayakDaily