Miri needs greater international exposure, bigger online presence – Lee

(Front row, fifth left) Lee with recipients of MCMF Ambassador Award, organisers and some performers at the festival.

(Front row, fifth left) Lee with recipients of MCMF Ambassador Award, organisers and some performers at the festival.

MIRI: Sarawak is still an unknown tourism destination in many parts of the world.

As such, it needs to organise more international level events and such events have to be aggressively promoted including online to attract more tourists.

According to Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin the home-grown Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) is one excellent example of event that has international appeal.

“MCMF which is a private sector initiative has been successfully organised for the 4th year running and proven to be a sustainable tourism event.

“It has been featured in Asean50 Calendar of Events and thus has become an international musical event,” said Lee on Saturday night when declaring open the 4th MCMF here.

Also present were founder and advisor of MCMF, Gracie Geikie and senior officials of the festival collaborators – general manager of Parkcity Everly Hotel Andrew Law, MyMajor Events general manager Tony Nagamaiah, chief executive officer of MASwings Aminuddin Zakaria and Artistic director of MCMF Asif Pishori.

Lee thanked Place Borneo and collaborators for their commitment in making MCMF sustainable and successful besides getting more international and local media to cover the event.

“Having the natural attraction like the Mulu Caves is not enough. We need to have events as successful events bring prominence to a destination hence events play a key role in promoting tourism.

“The media too play an important role as more consistent and dynamic promotion and marketing efforts are needed through multi media, especially online digital media,” he stressed.

Lee who is also Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety, said MCMF deserved support as it can play a positive role in promoting Miri as the northern gateway to Sarawak.

He hoped to see more private sector initiatives working closely with the State to promote and market  Sarawak internationally as a tourism destination.

At the function, Lee presented MCMF ambassador awards to four individuals and organisations that helped contribute towards the success of MCMF. They included Borneo Post reporter Cecilia Sman, Country Road Band manager Raymond Sului, Violette Tan from the Helping Hands Penan, and a freelance writer Leslie Tan.