By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, March 19: The Sarawak government has put everything in place to attract five million tourists to its shores during the Visit Sarawak Year campaign, but there is one key factor that will ultimately determine its outcome — Sarawakians themselves.
Hence, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin hoped the rakyat could play the role of the “perfect ambassadors” in welcoming visitors to the state.
“(For instance) Miri, as a resort city, has plenty of beautiful places of interest to offer to tourists, but besides the Niah Caves and the Mulu Caves, the most crucial entity in the town itself is its people, who can be the ‘perfect ambassadors’.
“Strong cooperation between the government and all tourism stakeholders, including Mirians, will ensure the growth of the tourism industry,” he said at the Visit Sarawak Year roadshow held at Miri Civic Centre this morning.
Lee told those present that his ministry hoped to draw some five million tourists to the state, so it was vital to have the cooperation of everybody.
“Friendly people, good food and clean toilets will affect tourists’ perception of Miri, for example,” he pointed out.
He told the stakeholders that, “You are the frontliner in this industry. For example, the taxi or bus drivers can be good frontliners by giving information on places of interests available here.”
Lee also expressed his concern that some of the beaches here are dirty.
“That is why, through Miri City Council (MCC), we are engaging various efforts to clean our beaches so that when tourists come, they will see clean beaches,” he said.
Also present were Miri mayor Adam Yii and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports official Siti Awa Suib. — DayakDaily