BATANG AI: The 15-year-old Batang Ai Longhouse Resort has successfully promoted the state to the world by providing services like no other.“Hilton has made the right decision when it took on the resort. It has promoted eco-tourism very well to the rest of the world,” said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan on Tuesday during the resort’s 15th anniversary dinner.
He said it was all because of good teamwork and cooperation of the villagers and longhouses, and the resort’s good management and workers.
Dr Chan who is also Tourism and Heritage Minister pointed out the state’s strong point is eco-tourism.
“Tourists and visitors want to see nature and wildlife. That is why the resort provides authentic traditional services.
“There is no such thing as modern high class facilities here. Visitors come and experience things as they are. They want to see the jungle, monkeys, orang utan and nature,” said Dr Chan.
“Hilton figured out that people coming here are eco-tourism people. They have different targets. They actually want raw nature. It’s a different ballgame altogether.”
Batang Ai Longhouse Resort general manager Peter Simson congratulated the resort’s 68 staff members for making the resort a success.
“We have 68 staff members of whom 18 will complete 15 years with the resort this year. There are also those who have been here for 10 years,” said Simson.
He said the staff members were recruited from the 26 of 29 surrounding longhouses in Batang Ai.
“The resort has helped provide jobs here. I quote one of my team members who earlier today said: ‘When I first started working at the resort, I came in a bus. A few years later I could afford to buy a motorcycle. And now I have a car’.
“I think that is a wonderful achievement. It has improved the lives of many locals.”
Simson also revealed that throughout the 15 years, the staff members have enjoyed the lowest RM33 per service point, and most enjoyable was RM319 per point.
“Those in the hotel business know service points,” he said.
He said the name of the resort was changed from Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort to Batang Ai Longhouse Resort in order to deliver the best experience to the guests without having to be constrained by the Hilton brand standards.
Simson also revealed that throughout the 15 years of the resort, it had received about 300,000 guests.
In conjunction with the resort’s anniversary, Simson announced that it is offering a promotion of RM150 per night with minimum of two nights valid till June 30 this year.