Saturday, August 15

Tourism players find ‘gems’ in central region


SIBU: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is excited as they have discovered several areas in the central region that are unexplored but have high tourism potential.

TOURISM POTENTIAL: Representatives from STB and tourism sector trekking a jungle trail.

COOLING EXPERIENCE: Rudy (second right) takes a dip at Jepelak Waterfall, Julau.

STB local office executive Rudy Anoi has described Pakan, Julau and Kanowit as tourism’s ‘missing link’.

During a recent exploration to enhance product knowledge and catalogue tourism products in the vast central region, STB personnel and some players from the tourism sector were amazed by the breathtaking beauty of these places.

“We have entered an unexplored tourism destination, which is located about an hour’s drive from Sibu. We have chosen this area because thus far there are no agents who really develop and sell such tour packages.

“With all the information that we have gathered from this trip, we hope to share it with the tourism stakeholders and then start the ball rolling to promote tourism in the central region,” enthused Rudy.

He disclosed that tourism products in Sibu were mostly classified under the “sightseeing category”, which included the central market, heritage garden and indoor museum.

“To get visitors extend their stay in Sibu, or Central Region for that matter, they should be given a wider range of options. Visitors would most certainly look out for something new. I am confident that if the option is attractive, they are likely to extend their stay here.”

He reckoned that with the extension of product knowledge about Pakan, Julau and Kanowit, travel agents could tap the potential of this area.

He said agents could perhaps organise trips to Lumbong Rentap (Rentap Thomb – Iban Warrior) in Bukit Sibau, visit the traditional Iban musical instruments cottage industry and handicraft maker.

“It offers a different experience to the tourists.”

As for Julau, he suggested that the tour include jungle trekking and visit to waterfalls such as Jepelak Waterfall (half an hour’s journey from Rh Seli, Ng Liuh). Tourists can also visit the historical Kubu Brooke in Meluan, Rh Ngumbang Nanga Ayam — the popular handicraft producer and Rh Juna with its beautiful and traditional structure.

“It is acclaimed as the most “unique” longhouse in Julau district with native design on the wall,” he noted.

In Kanowit, visitors can experience staying at Trang Lodge, Rh Benjamin Angki Rantau Kemiding. It is located about five minutes’ drive from Kanowit town.

While there, visitors can experience the longhouse tour and local food, while the more adventurous ones could attempt jungle trekking.

“When we organised this (recent) trip, little did we expect this much of excitement. We need to see things from a tourist’s point of view. What the locals think is not attractive may be a gold mine to tourists,” Rudy enthused.