Tourism Ministry to launch ‘Sia Sitok Accommodation’ with half-priced hotel stays

Ting (centre), Dennis (left) and Hii (right) during the 2021 STCC Meeting.

KUCHING, July 28: The ‘Sia Sitok Accommodation’ initiative will offer 50 per cent discounted hotel stays when the Covid-19 situation improves in Sarawak.

Its Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew said the initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the hotel industry through the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and Malaysia Budget Hotels Association (MyBHA).

In previous Sia Sitok Tour Packages, he added that the first one generated over RM1,569,026 in sales for 941 tour packages and 5,668 individuals while the second one which was launched on March 31, 2021 generated RM182,073.50 in sales for 146 tour packages and 1,014 individuals as of today.

Meanwhile, Ting said the ministry has also decided to increase the Divisional Tourism Task Group (DTTG) annual grant from RM5,000 to RM10,000 for each division in Sarawak to promote local tourism.

“I urge all resident for being the chairman of DTTG to continue to share our policies, directions and strategies with your members. Please transform our strategies and directions into opportunities and initiatives at divisional and district levels.

“Help your local communities to participate in community-based tourism such as homestay, local hosts, craft and souvenirs making to reap the benefits from tourism especially in raising their household income,” he said.

This, he added, will be the way forward for Sarawak’s tourism in line with the increasing Covid-19 vaccination rate in the State though still amid the pandemic.

Ting, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general, said Sarawak is considering opening up green bubble travel to allow vaccinated domestic citizens from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, as well as foreign visitors with strict requirements and guidelines.

“We anticipate that Sarawak will be opened for domestic tourism before the end of the year and for international travel by 2022,” he said during the 2021 Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) Meeting via video conferencing at Bangunan Baitul Makmur here today.

He said the third Sarawak Tourism Master Plan 2021-2035 which is emphasising on regional development is underway and expected to be launched in coming August.

Among those present at the meeting were Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chairman Dennis Ngau, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Ministry Sarawak office director Suriya Charles Buas, Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) president Audrey Wan Ullok and Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) chief executive officer (CEO) Chew Chang Guan. — DayakDaily