KUCHING: The Tourism Ministry will upgrade and improve facilities in the state’s national parks as a strategy to attract more tourists into the State in 2016.
Its minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg assured that the facilities and amenities at these national parks would be of quality providing a comfortable environment to the tourists.
“The state will work together with Sarawak Forestry Corporation to upgrade the national parks in the state, at the same time answering the chief minister’s call to strengthen the tourism sector. This is because the state’s national parks are unique and an added advantage to the state, especially in attracting tourists who like to explore the beautiful nature,” said Abang Johari at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) appreciation night cum 20th anniversary dinner on Friday.
He said that those earmarked for upgrading are the Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Matang Wildlife Centre and Mulu National Park.
Apart from the national parks, the discovery of a six-million year old cave in Mulu recently will bring added value to the tourism sector in the State.
Abang Johari who is also Minister of Housing, urged the private sector to be more creative and competitive to help draw more tourist landings to the State.
“The private sector must be smart in promoting their services via the latest technology and to offer tour packages so that their services will be used by tourists.”
Meanwhile, STB chairman cum Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip said that in moving forward, the board appreciates the good relationship between local partners like Sarawak Tourism Foundation, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter, Malaysia Hotels Association and several other hotel and tourism industry players.
“We will continue to work hard to promote Sarawak in the eyes of the world with collaborations with relevant industry players and existing commercial airlines.
“At the same time, STB will be more innovative, competitive and creative in ensuring that we can reach out to tourists all over the world through our tourism assets.”
At the event, Abang Johari launched ‘The Guide to Sarawak’ book published by Regina Fabiny.
Also present were state secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and STB chief executive officer cum Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.