BINTULU: The multicultural society and natural environment can become major attractions to visitors, especially foreigners, to the state.
According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, many tourism-related activities involving nature exploration are available in the state and the state government is looking seriously into developing this sector.
He said the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) could play a key role in the state’s tourism industry by introducing the potential of this division, including Tatau and Sebauh which have beautiful beaches, as well as the Similajau National Park that could be used as a venue for outdoor activities.
“Sebauh and Tatau also have a diversity of local cultures,” he said after having officiated at the opening of the 12th Borneo International Kite Festival (BIKF) 2016 at the old airport here yesterday.
His text of speech was read by Assistant Minister for Arts and Culture Datuk John Sikie Tayai.
The chief minister said to implement tourism development in the division including the two districts (Tatau and Sebauh), the homestay programme should be introduced – similar to what that had been done in other places across the state.
“I believe that the racial diversity in the two districts can be of interest to visitors and at the same time, homestay can offer lucrative incomes to the operators if promoted properly,” said Adenan.
He noted that there were a total of 31 villages with 500 operators that had signed up for the homestay programme in the state.
“We hope the villages and longhouses in this division will come up with their plans and sign up for the homestay programme in their respective areas,” he said, adding that developing tourism sector was not the sole responsibility of the government, but it also depended on the participation and cooperation of the private sector as well as the creativity of the local authorities and the local communities.
Hence, organising BIKF as part of tourism products for this division was a good initiative as it gathered kite flyers from around the world.
Adenan also encouraged the international participants to not only come here for kite flying but also to enjoy the interesting places and become ambassadors to promote Bintulu to the world.
Earlier, Assistant Minister for Urbanisation Datuk Talib Zulpilip, who is Jepak assemblyman and also organising chairman of the festival, believed that kite-flying could unite people of various backgrounds across the globe.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari and BDA general manager Rodziah Morshidi.