Monday, June 17

‘Rebranding will make Jong regatta major tourism event in Bau’


BIGGER REGATTA: Nansian (front) poses with some of the junks on display during the event yesterday. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi.

BAU:  Rebranding of the Jong Regatta into a full-fledged festival, possibly beginning next year, will make the event the biggest tourism attraction in this gold mining town.

When giving this observation, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie yesterday said the organiser had strived to make its future editions bigger and better to attract more local visitors and foreign tourists.

The plans that have been proposed, he said, included the introduction of more sporting events such as futsal competition, wakeboard competition and other water sports events, and even jet-ski demonstration to pull in the crowd and provide entertainment.

“We will make this event bigger. We will include more events, we will strive to improve this event to make it better for both the locals and foreign tourists. Jong Regatta will become one of the biggest events in Bau,” said Nansian, who is also Assistant Minister of Community Services, when officiating at the closing
ceremony of the regatta at Tasik Biru here.

The Jong Regatta, re-introduced in 2009 after a hiatus of a few years, has quickly gained momentum in terms of participation and support from the local community. This year, the regatta saw a record participation of 464 entries, including 21 men and six women’s teams in its Open Rafting competition.

On Saturday, Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos called on the organiser – Bau District Office – to repackage the regatta into a festival to attract more participants, visitors and tourists.

The Mambong MP also suggested for the date of the event to be shifted to incorporate the school holidays so that it could attract more local tourists from throughout the country. He suggested June as an ideal date, considering the two-week school break and the start of the summer holidays in European countries and the Middle East.

GETTING READY: Participants carry their junks to the lake before their respective events. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi.

“Don’t always think conventional, be more creative. The organiser must come up with new strategies to attract more participants and visitors. Conventional ways don’t work anymore especially when it comes to attracting local tourists.

“The Jong Regatta is an iconic event. There is no such event elsewhere in the country. Therefore, it is very important for organisers to pick a date most convenient for visitors from the country and foreign tourists,” said Dawos when officiating at
the opening ceremony of the regatta.

The two-day event during the weekend managed to attract more than 1,000 people.