Thursday, July 18

Sarawak takes step towards virtual tourism


MIRI: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports will go global digitally when a virtual tourism project is implemented to promote Sarawak to the outside world.

Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said it is timely for the ministry to step into the digital world to ensure it will not be left behind in promoting Sarawak tourism through digital means.

“With the Internet virtual reality project introduced at Niah National Park, I suggested to the ministry to explore digital tourism promotions including through websites,” Lee told members of the media yesterday.

According to Lee, the ministry can use Google Street View with virtual reality and three-dimension (3D) technology so that tourists can take a virtual tour of Niah National Park and also of Mulu National Park and its world renowned caves, where a similar project is being implemented.

He said the ministry intends to introduce virtual tourism through its website.

“Nowadays, a lot of people are interested to see short video clips, so we use the opportunity to explore digitally through video clips and to promote tourism in Sarawak,” he said.

Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman is confident that this approach will cultivate interest among tourists to visit Mulu National Park.

“This is how we will entice tourists to come to Sarawak and draw more every year,” he said.

Currently, the Sabah state government also uses Google Street View to introduce tourism spots in the state.

Lee was chairing a meeting to oversee projects under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports and the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) at the Miri Resident Office yesterday.

Also present were Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.

Commenting on the virtual reality project at Niah National Park, Lee said, it is one of the projects to upgrade and renovate the park commencing this February.

“We received an allocation of RM3.4 million to upgrade the Internet centre and Niah National Park and the work will kick off on this February and is expected to be complete this November.”

He said Niah National Park is the first project to use hologram technology in the state.

On the meeting, Lee said, a total of 10 projects that were approved under 11MP are being monitored to ensure their implementation will be carried out as scheduled.

These projects include upgrades of Bakam Point, Wireless Walk, Sungai Tujoh immigration and customs complex, Tusan Beach, the old Miri Resident building, Niah National Park, Marudi Waterfront including Fort Hose, and the Sports Complex Miri.