Tuesday, June 25

‘BCF is vital to tourism industry’

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SIBU: Chairman of the Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association has claimed that the riverine town has been sidelined in terms of tourism promotion, causing tourists to shy away.

Johnny Wong Sie Lee alleged that the town’s signature event Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) had been left out from next year’s tourism calendar.

“I learned that this major event has not been listed in the calendar of tourism for 2012. This is most unfair as BCF will be making a comeback next year and has been a crowd puller all this while. BCF is an important platform to showcase what Sibu has to offer to the world.

“And if it is not even listed in the calendar, how would tourists be able to know that the event is on next year. They too need to make preparations to come here and this cannot be done overnight.”

He could not figure out why BCF had been omitted whereas other tourism events seemed to have been included. Wong bemoaned that while Sibu might have limited places of interest, this should not be used as a basis to leave the town out of tourism activities.

He lamented that only a handful of tourists visited Sibu and promoting BCF was one way to reverse the trend.

“Tourists are dazzled by the myriad of traditions and customs from the various ethnic groups. On top of that, mouth-watering local delicacies will leave tourists with an unforgettable taste.”

Meanwhile, a check with the local Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) however, noted that the event (BCF) is listed in the calendar of event 2012.

Its Sibu branch executive Rudy Anoi having checked with his counterparts in Kuching, said BCF had been entered into the calendar of event and not as claimed.

The BCF is into its 10th year next year but was somehow put off this year. The move sparked a public outcry.