Thursday, June 20

Efforts to make Bintulu tourist destination

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IMPRSSIVE: Abang Johari (left) admires the frame of a kite while touring the kite-making workshop booth.

BINTULU: The state Tourism Ministry and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) are all out to make Bintulu town one of the must-go-to destinations in the state for local visitors and foreign tourists.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the town has a huge potential to be promoted due to its cultural richness besides being one of the industrial powerhouses in the country.

He also disclosed that within three years the hinterland tourism sector in Sarawak would be further explored.

“Bakun is not far from Bintulu and we have engaged a consultant to study hinterland tourism.

“One of the infrastructures that we have to consider is to zone certain areas in Bakun as an aquatic sports destination.

“There will be a concrete plan for the hinterland tourism sector in three years’ time to develop Bakun area,” he said.

Bintulu, he said, would be developed through its industrial sector, and its recreational facilities would be further boosted to attract more tourists and investors.

He also said the town was capable of organising world class events that could be promoted to the outside world.

He made these remarks when officiating at the opening ceremony of the 8th Borneo International Kite Festival 2012 (BIKF) at the old Bintulu Airport here yesterday.

“Kite flying is a unique and meaningful event in Sarawak as it promotes tourism industry in the state,” he said.

This year, 94 participants from 20 over countries took part in the event.

Abang Johari believed with more aggressive promotion, the event would attract more participants from overseas.

“In this regard, the STB will allocate RM100, 000 every year for promotional activities, just to promote Bintulu as a destination for kite flying,” he said, adding the intention was to make it a world class event like the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching.

In addition, he said, international media practitioners would be engaged to give it a wider coverage.

On the promotional activities, he said they would also highlight the diverse cultures and traditions in Bintulu.

Earlier, Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip said the kite flying event could attract people from throughout the world.

Among those present at the event were Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) deputy chairman Dato Sri Celestine Ujang Jilan, BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak and STB chief executive officer Datuk Rashid Khan.