Tuesday, September 17

Capitalise on digital technology

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CM: Vital for all quarters to realise success in digitally marketing Sarawak tourism

Abdul Karim (second right) seen with (from left) his ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Ling, Kadim and Wee during the launch of the forum . — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Local research institutions and industry players have been called to work together in bringing state tourism to another level in order to compete in digital economy.

According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, local tourism along with other sectors must capitalise on digital technology to market tourism.

In this regard, the state government would have to plan and implement initiatives meant to boost the competitiveness of the tourism industry players in Sarawak, integrating them into global digital value chains and improving their abilities and capabilities to create more business opportunities from digital tourism.

“We should be looking seriously at digital marketing strategies, online reputation, the use of social media and also that of mobile phones throughout the customer’s experience. We should also be looking into regulations to ensure a level-playing field, big data ownership and access to technology,” he said in his speech read by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the opening of ‘Digital Tourism Forum 2018’ here yesterday.

Apart from that, Abang Johari also stressed the importance for those in the corporate sector to facilitate and create platforms for Sarawak to share information, cross-inspire, explore business opportunities and create bilateral trades with Asean and other countries in the surrounding region.

On the forum, the chief minister viewed it as a platform for Sarawak to set up smart partnerships among members of Asean and other Asian countries in promoting digital tourism slated for Sarawak’s mutual growth and benefits.

“I am happy to know that the Asean-China Entrepreneurs Association (ACEA) has created a strategic partnership with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in hosting the forum. I would like to congratulate the organising team for being able to organise the forum for the second  time and gather all like-minded people in areas of digital tourism in Asean, China and other countries.

“Under my leadership, Sarawak has embarked a journey towards digitalising the economy. Digital economy is the way forward for Sarawak in order to be able to leapfrog towards a developed state status and high income economy by 2030,” he said.

ACEA president Datuk Stanley Ling Tiung Leng, its vice-president Eddie Wee and Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Kadim Suaidi witnessed the opening ceremony.

Amongst the confirmed forum attendees are Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia, Rath Many; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Houmdaophone Soukhaseum; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Le Quy Quynh; Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counsellor of Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, Sein Nwe Aye; and Charge D’Affairs of Royal Thai Embassy, Nipa Niranoot.

The forum’s key objective is to amalgamate the visions of top policy-makers and industry players within Asean’s tourism industry, to boost the growth and visibility of the countries in this region as top tourist destinations.

Ambassadors or their representatives from Asean are also expected to share with one another valuable insights on the topic ‘How the Digital Era Improves and Impacts the Asean Tourism industry: Promoting and Interacting across Asean countries, the World and to Malaysia’ during the forum.

In line with ACEA‘s objective of become a platform for Asean and China’s entrepreneurs to share information, cross-inspire, explore business opportunities and create bilateral trades to expand the economies of Asean, China and other countries, ACEA has been visiting Asean and China ambassadors in Malaysia over the years – promoting not only ACEA, but also Sarawak, which known as a haven of rich resources and business opportunities.