PADAWAN: Ministry of Tourism will apply to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for the rebranding of Kuching as a geopark city.
The ministry’s deputy minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit when revealing this said upon approval, the city would be promoted as a geopark to attract more foreign tourists.
“Kuching is qualified to be recognised because there are many attractions such as the number of unique mountains available here.”
“Therefore, if it is approved, Kuching will be the second global geopark in the country after Langkawi,” he said.
Langkawi is the first in Malaysia and South East Asia recognised by Unesco in June 2007.
He said this to reporters after closing the Gawai Dayak celebration at Kampung Bra’ang Bayur, about 58 kilometres from here on Saturday night.
“Along Borneo Heights Road in Padawan here, there are many tourist spots that could be developed like mountains so that the local people can help to promote local tourism products.
“With this, they can also generate extra income if they wish to be involved part-time in the industry like bringing tourists for mountain climbing.
“I also encourage local people in my constituency to be involved in this industry which can give lucrative income as long as they are interested and committed to be successful,” Dawos, who is also Mambong MP, said.
Earlier, he officiated at the opening of a 500-metre road costing RM50,000 that leads to the village’s 18-door longhouse.
Dawos revealed that upgrading and maintenance work had begun in August to develop Kampung Panchor Dayak hot spring near Serian as a new attraction after the one at Kampung Anah Rais in Padawan.
He noted that under his constituency there were at least four hot spring spots that have become centres of attraction for local and foreign visitors.
“Another uniqueness of the area is the world’s biggest flower, Raflessia, and various species that can be found at Kampung Timurang at Jalan Borneo Height which had been identified as a destination for nature lovers.”
Also present were Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) deputy chairman Mohd Hashim Yap, village head Tora Jongsen and the villagers who later witnessed the closing of Gawai celebration at the longhouse.