Thursday, December 3

Sarawak allocated RM45 mln for tourism products

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KUCHING: Sarawak received RM45 million this year to develop the state’s tourism products.

Rashidi (fifth right) is seen during a photo call at Fort Margherita. Seen from fourth left are Museum Department state director Ipoi Datan and Sebastian.

Ministry of Tourism and Culture deputy secretary general Rashidi Hasbullah said this amount is
considered high for any state.

He said the ministry also allocated RM42.31 million for heritage projects nationwide.

“Of the allocation, only RM2.3 million has been spent so far. Therefore, Sarawak can apply for the fund if there are other historical sites or buildings that need to be conserved,” he said before handing over the newly restored Fort Margherita to Ministry of Social Development principal assistant secretary Sebastian Sujang yesterday.

Rashidi pointed out that the Fort Margherita conservation project was approved under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) while the state could bid for more funds under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

He said the vicinity of Fort Margherita could be further beautified to attract both local and foreign visitors.

Apart from the RM2.3 million Fort Margherita project, the ministry through its National Heritage Department also approved RM4.1 million to construct a walking path along the Kuching Waterfront up to Kampung Sourbaya.

Rashidi also handed over the completed walking path project to Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) during the simple ceremony.

He said the 380-metre path, which was completed last year, would offer a scenic stroll for tourists.

On tourist arrivals, he said the country registered 25.6 million foreign visitors last year, with the tourism sector generating RM85.5 billion in revenue.

As of May this year, he said 11.53 million foreign tourists had visited Malaysia – an increase of 10.1 per cent compared to last year.

“Now with Fort Margherita completely conserved as well as other tourism products promoted in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, I believe more tourists will come to Sarawak and Malaysia,” he said.