Sarawak can capitalise on exotic tourism attractions in Borneo — Minister


Abdul Karim (back, second left) joins (back, from left) Sim, Liew, Kho and Muhammad in a photo-call to promote Sarawak Borneo Cross Country Rally 2018.

KUCHING: Tourists these days are looking for fresh and unique experiences to remember, in that more and more of them are very knowledgeable and well-travelled.

In this regard, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah highlights Borneo as an exotic place to foreigners, adding that Sarawak would want to capitalise on this.

He was speaking to reporters yesterday after launching the ‘Sarawak Borneo Cross Country Rally 2018’, scheduled to take place from Aug 3 to 14 this year.

Organised by Unides Events, this 12-day, 11-night rally is expected to attract over 200 local and foreign big bikers.

Upon flag-off in Kota Kinabalu, the journey will encompass Brunei, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Kuching, Pontianak and Sinkawang (Kalimantan), before concluding in Kuching.

According to Abdul Karim, communications between the countries in Borneo are getting better in terms of telecommunications, internet coverage and road connectivity – making cross-country events such as the Sarawak Borneo rally possible and eventually, drawing more people to come and explore the island.

“Along the way, there will be lots of activities with respective parties such as Brunei and West Kalimantan’s tourism agencies to make the rally more meaningful,” he said, adding that some of the programmes would be charity or community-based, including visiting key tourist spots, getting together with the local communities – bikers and non-bikers alike.

“Big biking is becoming more popular. We’ve heard of bikers riding up to other countries. About 70 Sarawakian riders went to Terengganu Bike Week this past weekend. This is the kind of relationship that Sarawak strives for, as it builds up good cooperation between various nations and with the bikers,” said Abdul Karim.

He believed that visitors would likely put up photos of their adventures on Facebook or Instagram to show the sights across Borneo; this would draw more people to come for biking or fishing.

“But we also want to make sure that those who come are happy with what they find here; otherwise, it would be a negative-type of viral story,” he said, adding that seeing Sarawak from a big bike is always interesting as one can go very far.

Brunei Consul-General in Kuching Muhammad Kamaluddin, Unides managing director Kho Sze Min, iCube Innovation founder and chairman Dato Patrick Liew, and iCom Square Management Sdn Bhd property manager Louise Sim witnessed the launch.

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