THE government has no immediate plan to construct a proper road from Miri to Mulu to enhance accessibility.
Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said Mulu “is currently accessible by air via MASwings twice daily from Miri and once daily from Kuching.”
“For those who are more adventurous, they can take the two hours four-wheel drive from Miri through Long Bedian to Long Terawan. From there, it takes another two hours longboat ride to reach Mulu,” he said when taking questions from Datuk Sebastian Ting (BN-Piasau) in the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.
Lee said the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports was working closely with other agencies to promote Miri.
These agencies are Divisional Tourism Task Group under Resident Office, Miri City Council, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Sarawak Tourism Federation.
Lee said the tactical campaign launched last June together with MASwings and Tropical Adventure Tours Sdn Bhd had put Miri as a preferred destination.
“This campaign is still active and to be re-launched with better fare for next year if there is a demand.”
Lee pointed out that Miri had been chosen as the filming venue for a Chinese movie ‘Blue Tears’ which highlighted the unique attractions around Miri.
Through the movie, he said Miri would be seen by millions of audience in China and other parts of the world which would promote Miri as a tourist destination.
“Short video clip on Food Trail of Miri has also been shot and will be shown in local TV channel to target domestic and Brunei market.”
He said more familiarisation trips would be organised to cover Miri and the surrounding attractions while STB would be producing a five-series product brochure featuring Mulu National Park.
He said the brochure would mention Miri as the entry point into Mulu on top of highlighting places of interest in Miri for a transit and stopover stay.
An amount of RM3.39 million was allocated for various promotional activities, events and festivals in Miri last year and over RM1 million for this year, he added.
Lee said his ministry was also having on-going discussions with Malindo Air and Royal Brunei Airlines to enhance air connectivity.
“Apart from scheduled flights, my ministry is also pushing for chartered flights.”
Responding to supplementary questions, Lee said seven tourism-related projects worth over RM20 million had been approved in Miri this year alone.
He disclosed that 13 tourism-related events had been and would be organised in Miri this year, and they included Miri International Deepsea Fishing Competition, Borneo International Jazz Festival, Miri Country Music, Sarawak Highland Folks Music, Miri International Marathon and Miri Bazaar Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Apart from these events, he said five conferences had taken place or would be held in Miri this year.
The conferences included the 3rd Sarawak Burn Update, International Conference on Material and Technology and 42nd Junior Chamber International Malaysia Annual National Convention.
“For events and conferences for the year 2018, they are still being planned even though some are being finalised,” added Lee.