Traditional food to be tourism pull factor

SIBU: Good traditional local delicacies will inject the much needed ‘wow’ factor into the tourism industry here, said Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak Chapter liaison officer for Sibu, Roy Ting.

Ting, who is also Sarawak Central Region Hotels Association assistant secretary, however, said good food alone was inconsequential to provide good mileage for the sector.

“The way I see it, good food alone might not be influential enough to attract tourists as no one will just travel to a destination for food only.

“But good traditional local food is certainly one of the good tourism products,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 1Malaysia Food Fair, now into its third year, is slated to be held from Dec 15 till Jan 6, 2013 at Sibu Town Square Phase 2. Its organising committee is headed by ‘Persatuan Penjaja Bersatu Bahagian Sibu dan Daerah Meradong Sarawak’ and supported by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), Seven Clans Association and Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The carnival is a tourism product initiated by the Ministry of Tourism.

Famed delicacies such as ‘Mee Rebus’, Indian Rojak and ‘Yong Tao Foo’ would be the main attraction besides traditional cuisine.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Sibu executive Rudy Anoi, when contacted, agreed that food could help put Sibu on the world map, especially among food lovers.

“We can see in the television that there are more and more programmes on food,” noted Rudy.

Meanwhile, during a press conference on Monday, SMC deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng said a wide variety of local delicacies would be paraded for visitors to sample, making the fair a truly 1Malaysia affair.

Ngieng also said the organising committee of the upcoming 1Malaysia Food Fair was coming up with the town’s signature dishes that stand out from the crowd.

He added that there would be nightly stage performances from various ethnic groups to spice up the carnival, besides trade exhibitions.

“Due to the encouraging response, some 135 stalls have been set up while 74 had already been snapped up,” Ngieng said.

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