KUCHING: Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) hopes to use the World Harvest Festival, particularly their annual theme plays, to position the state as the land of folklore and legends.
Still glowing from the success of the festival and this year’s theme play ‘The Fish Princess: A Highlander Love Story”, SCV general manager Jane Lian Labang wanted to encourage other festival organisers to pick a local folklore or legend and stage their own production.
“The cluster of folklore and legends from all over the land could lift Sarawak’s image as a destination with rich culture.”
Sarawak has been promoted as the ‘Land of the Hornbills’ for as far back as the 1970’s, but it is time to admit that hornbill sightings are a rarity, said Jane.
“This positioning and image raises expectations of tourists and visitors that they can sight hornbills at any time.”
She pointed out that unlike animals, a stage production can be scheduled. In turn, tourist arrivals too can be scheduled to coincide with local festivals.
“If we could position Sarawak as the land of folklore and legends, then it could be staged live to tourists and visitors. We could schedule it during important festivals, not only during WHF,” she said, adding that festivals like Pesta Kaul and the Sarawak Regatta have their own stories to tell.
“That makes tourism orderly. If a lot of positioning is based on animals and birds, it becomes very challenging to schedule tourist arrivals.”
The WHF can be used as a platform to kick off a visitor’s journey into Sarawak, and conclude the one-month visit of the state in a rural area where the villages celebrate the the Gawai Dayak.