STB: S’wak has much to offer post-trauma Japan

SUBANG: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) said there will be tourism opportunity afforded to post-trauma Japan, said STB president Dato Rashid Khan.

He said Malaysians do sympathise with Japan when the nation faces challenge due to the current disaster and people must do something positive to alleviate their emotional distress. In fact, it is not true that tourism players could not help in such a scenario, he clarified.

One way STB can help is to prepare good tourism and homestay packages for the survivors in Japan so that they would come over to Sarawak to get peace of mind.

On top of that, the survivors can experience the tranquillity and serenity of Sarawak forest and rivers and its scenic beauty, said Rashid during a press conference to announce an educational, training, culture and research-related MOU at TUC Lakeview Campus in Subang, Selangor yesterday.

Rashid said: “Sometimes it would be good for people to be far away from the disaster site which they had experienced and seek peace of mind, tranquillity and serenity which Sarawak can offer to tourists.”

He said there is opportunity in any crisis but the question is whether tourism players can tap them with their creativity and innovation.

On the MOU, Rashid said TUC has made the right move to collaborate with STB because they would be setting a benchmark for other institutions to follow. But he said the terms for TUC would be exclusive and not be applicable to other institutions in the case if there were future collaborations with other institutions. The STB-TUC collaboration was to value-add students’ achievement and also the institution’s reputation and that both organisations were set to enjoy a win-win solution, he said.

According to the MOU, students would undergo internship with STB, especially during the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri in May and Rainforest World Music Festival in July.

Rashid said in the last Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) in Miri, it garnered around RM7 million tourists receipts (or worth of economic spin offs to the industry) and they are expecting a tourist receipts of around RM10 million during the next BJF in May.

TUC is also planning to hold a preview of the Borneo Jazz Festival at Lakeview Campus which has around 10,000 students.

But Rashid said the preview would just be a glimpse of the event to excite the audience so that they would come to Sarawak to watch the full event. Students from around Subang are encouraged to watch the preview. He hoped the preview would be made an annual event.

According to TUC vice chancellor and president Dato Prof Dr Hassan Said, there are around 80,000 to 90,000 students within Subang area and that is a big enough number to help promote Sarawakian events.

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