THE Key Focus Activity (KFA) for the state tourism ministry is to enhance tourism facilities and services in selected national parks, says its minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
In his winding-up speech, the minister said for a start, they would begin with Bako National Park as it was the most popular.
“The objective is to provide basic comfort and ensure the safety of visitors, and at the same time, leverage on ICT in showcasing the richness of the flora and fauna at the national park.
“A special task force, jointly chaired by the ministry’s permanent secretary and the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, has been set up earlier this year to identify the tourism component that needs to be upgraded and improved, namely accommodation, signage and information kiosk,” he said.
Abang Johari said that Culture, Adventure and Nature (CAN) would continue to be the state’s main tourism attraction.
“Our national parks, wildlife centres and nature reserves recorded 431,505 visitors comprising 119,860 foreigners last year.
“Semenggoh Wildlife Centre recorded the highest number of visitors with 102,292, followed by Bako National Park (44,469) and Gunung Gading National Park (26,045).
“Semenggoh Wildlife Centre still holds the record for highest number of foreign visitors (41,725),” he said.
He said the ministry was working closely with the Bumiputra Entrepreneur Development Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department to come up with several inbound tourism packages to promote Kuching.
“The packages will focus on nearby national parks and nature reserves, in addition to historical sites, the Orchid Garden and Kuching Waterfront.
“My ministry has also submitted 29 project proposals to the state and federal governments for funding consideration to be implemented in 2014-2015.