Sunday, February 23

Ministry introduces new initiatives to improve tourism industry

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KUCHING: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will introduce new initiatives slated for local tour guides, as part of the efforts to improve the quality and professionalism in the tourism sector of Sarawak.

Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the ministry was looking into new strategies and approaches in keeping up with the present trend of the tourism industry.

As such, a meeting would be held with members of the Sarawak Tourist Guide Association to discuss ways to improve and upgrade the quality of tour guides to allow them serve the needs of the tourists better.

“We cannot follow what had been done in the past; we have to follow the trend whereby expectations of tourists nowadays are very different. As various countries have different expectations, we have to really keep up with the tourism trends of today.

“We will continuously improve, upgrade and at the same time keep up with the present trends in world tourism,” Lee said recently.

He pointed out that tourist guides played a key role in this sector, such as to be conversant on the tourism packages offered, especially on nature (flora and fauna) as well as the local heritage and culture.

He said during the guiding process, tourist guides would be tasked with making the tours both interesting and informative in order for the tourists to bring back good memories about Sarawak.

“We really need to look into this aspect because we still have a lot to do. Therefore, we will be on the ground to look for more of our tourism products and ways to improve them,” he said, adding that this year the ministry would be working on a new holistic branding for Sarawak.

Lee disclosed among the courses for the tourist guides would be language classes, aimed at enabling them to cater to foreign tourists such as those from China, Korea and Japan.

Meanwhile, Lee also reminded all tourism players to be adaptable to the digital trend in their marketing and promotional activities, in line with changes in the needs of the tourists.

He said this would ensure that the guides would be up-to-date with the latest development in the industry.