KUCHING: Hot spring in Annah Rais will be developed into a tourist attraction, said Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.
Dawos said his ministry is collaborating with Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) to come up with a tourism package.
“We have held meetings with MPP on the project and MPP has been entrusted to monitor it. The project will start once the planning is completed. I think we will start sometime this year,” he said when closing the Gawai Dayak celebration in Kampung Annah Rais on Saturday night.
He said the tourism development in the village would hopefully help to boost the socio-economic status of the people there.
“If the hot spring and its surrounding area are developed well, I believe a family’s monthly income from such development will be more than RM300,” he said.
Dawos said he hoped for all round cooperation from the people there so that efforts to improve the tourism sector would run smoothly.
According to a villager of Kampung Annah Rais, Ringin Du, he is entrusted to take care of the hot spring area.
He said thus far, the tourist attraction to the area was very encouraging.
“Overall, I would see a total of 10 to 15 tourists daily during the weekdays. During the weekends, we can see about 30 to 50 people. Therefore, I hope efforts to develop the hot spring as a tourist attraction could be intensified. Tourists said they enjoyed the hot spring,” said Ringin.
He explained that the hot spring would be hottest in July. However, up to October the spring water is still good and warm.
The early settlers discovered the hot spring about 250 years ago. Since then the place has been guarded and preserved, he said.
“Based on their belief the hot spring is a sacred place where some of the villagers would seek for blessings and cure for various illnesses,” he said. The village is about 60 km from Kuching City.
At the same function, Dawos donated RM3,000 to the village security and development committee.