SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council is in the process of forming a task force to prepare for the proposed Visit Sibu Year 2016, with council deputy chairman Dato Andrew Wong saying it needed 18 months to plan out the event.
“We’ve decided to go for 2016 as we will need at least 18 months to get the necessary infrastructure ready,” he said, adding that a regatta might be a highlight event in that calendar year.
“Our Social and Community Development standing committee wants to make sure that this Visit Sibu Year is really a Visit Sibu Year and not merely a slogan.
“That is, really to attract both foreign and domestic tourists to come to Sibu,” Wong said.
He disclosed that tour operators would be enlisted into the task force.
He was asked on plans to boost tourism here when met after officiating at the opening of E.S. Bar here recently. He believed that Sibu had much to offer to visitors.
He stressed that it was important to offer tourists something unique which they could not obtain elsewhere.
Wong named the mighty Rajang River and rich culture as among the products which could be fully exploited.
“Sibu is an ideal location to roll out the regatta which is a unique event. So, if we can do that and make it as one of the highlights of Visit Sibu Year 2016, I think that it will attract a lot of domestic and foreign tourists,” Wong enthused.
Asked on eco-tourism, he disclosed that they were still working on it, especially the homestay programme.
Wong observed that the current homestay programme was quite well run but felt it could be further strengthened.
“This means to make it a more authentic experience. That is the experience the foreign tourists are looking for and that is what we are looking into,” he said.