KUCHING: Tourism Malaysia state director Johanif Ahmad commented yesterday that Sarawak has a huge potential to grow as a major tourist destination because it has a variety of products which are mainly organic and nature-based.
According to him, the natural treasures were not fully exploited to become tourism products.
In this regard, he urged agencies and tourism-based industries to be more creative and innovative in order to be able to highlight the products which can attract more tourists to the state. He also pointed out that as a matter of fact, Sarawak had too many natural products to be promoted.
Comparing Sarawak with other states in Malaysia, he said the state indeed had great potential to be a major player in the country’s tourism industry.
“With its natural products, we must now find a way to market them the right way. The industry players must have the ability to modify our local products to become major tourist products of choice,” he said.
Johanif also commented that one of the states that Sarawak could look up to was Melaka as it was very creative in using its resources as tourist attraction.
“Despite not having many natural resources that could be turned into local tourist attractions, Melaka is very resourceful. They are able to create attractive packages for their tourism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johanif hopes that tour operators in the state are not too dependent on the government in the marketing or promotion of tourism products, saying they also need to be more creative in how they work and promote their products and services.
“They must be able to constantly think of new products that could attract more tourists to the state and country. Creativity is one way that this industry could develop further,” he added.
Johanif was speaking to reporters at the Farewell Golf Tournament prize-giving ceremony at Damai Golf and Country Club yesterday. The tournament was organised by Tourism Malaysia Sarawak as a farewell ceremony for him as he would be transfered to the Malaysia Tourism office in New York soon.