MIRI: The digital era has demanded that Miri diversify from its traditional industries such as oil and gas, timber and palm oil.
Thus, the resort city needs to fully tap its huge potential in tourism and service industries as the new engine of economic growth, Miri mayor Adam Yii said.
“We have to add an additional economic pillar which is tourism to ensure sustainable economic development for the city.
“Thus, tourism development is not an option for Miri but it is a necessity. We have liaised and met with many tourism and industry players to plan the way forward,” he stated in his address when officiating at Visit Miri Year (VMY) 2018 campaign and launching of the VMY 2018 official logo at Miri Marriot Resort and Spa yesterday.
Yii assured that Miri City Council (MCC) would facilitate the development of tourism in the city.
“I have always been a very strong advocate of tourism in Miri. When I was appointed as MCC’s mayor in July last year, one of my first acts was to elevate tourism from being a sub-committee to a fully-fledged tourism development standing committee for the council.”
Themed ‘Discover Miri, Uniquely Borneo’, he viewed VMY 2018 as an exciting and important step towards being a tourism destination of choice for tourists.
“Tourism increasingly touches the lives of so many individuals, families, communities and small enterprises on a daily basis. It is already making inroads as an economic force for the betterment of people in Miri. But, we in MCC believe we can do even more to position tourism as a powerful force for change, including on the need to do planning and preparations to take advantage of Visit Sarawak 2019 and Visit Malaysia 2020.”
Besides the steady flow of tourists and visitors from nearby Brunei Darussalam, the city, he said, has to attract wide variety of tourists ranging from backpackers all the way to high spending tourists.
Therefore, the tourism players here have to be innovative in designing tourism products and services, ranging from food delicacies, experiences and destinations to facilities, he added.
With the direct Miri-Pontianak flight to be launched soon, he believed the new route would open up new opportunities for the people not only in tourism industry but also medical, educational and agricultural sectors.
“I am sure there are many more opportunities that those of you in the private sector will be able to identify. We will continue to lobby for more direct flights from places such as Singapore and China.”
He then urged all the players in the tourism sector such as hotels, inns, homestays, transport, airport services, eateries and tour agencies among many others to invest in upgrading their facilities, services and products.
“Discover Miri 2018 is an ideal opportunity for all of you to create sustainable growth for your businesses.
“I would also like to invite the people of Miri to be a part of VMY 2018. Be our ambassadors, help us ‘talk up’ Miri as a destination to your family and friends abroad and also to people you meet. Let us together create vibrancy around Miri. This I can assure you will create an impact.”
Also present were deputy mayor Julaihi Mohamad and chairman of MCC’s tourism development standing committee Ernest Goh.