Sunday, September 26

Sibu should host more tourism events — Minister

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Abdul Karim (third left) signs a plaque to launch the formation of BECos, as Lau (second left), Dr Toyad (fourth left), Amelia (fifth left) and others look on.

SIBU: More tourism events should be organised here to spur its tourism industry, says Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He was speaking at the launching of Business Events Consortium of Sibu (BECos), Formation and also of ‘I Want Discover Sarawak’ contest at RH Hotel here yesterday.

The event was part of the Business Event Sarawak – Tribal Gathering.

Adding on, Abdul Karim pointed out the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) alone would not be enough to bring out the best of Sibu

“I want to see more things in Sibu; come up with many good events because BCF is not enough,” he stressed.

Abdul Karim said business events could be potential events to promote here since the town had quite a number of institutions of higher learning and industries such as shipbuilding, timber and plywood.

He added: “Conferences need not be held at convention or trade centres, or in five-star hotels, as the idea of conference is to bring people into the event.

“Organisers must come up with ideas to accommodate within the limits that they have.

“I am sure there can be lots of conferences in Sibu which are related to courses in the universities or industries.”

The minister believed that Sibu could be the new destination for business events.

“Sibu is an important gateway to the interior of Sarawak. To all those global people out there, when they hear Borneo, they get aroused by it because to them, Borneo is an exotic island.

“When you show all those photos of our beautiful jungles and rivers, they will get excited. So those who are organising events, you can tie these things together,” he suggested.

Abdul Karim agreed that there was the issue of connectivity, but organisers or related agencies must find ways solve this problem.

He hoped that BECos, led by Robert Lau Hui Yew, could bring up some more interesting things in Sibu.

Meanwhile in his remarks, Lau regarded Rajang River as ‘the diamond of Sibu town, with great potential’.

“Although the timber industry in Sibu has slowed down, it does not mean the end of Sibu,” Lau said, adding that it could instead be the beginning of Sibu’s renewal.

He said there must be a renewal of business community here, whereby the younger generation could take the lead to bring Sibu to greater heights.

According to Lau, Business Event Sarawak is a supportive platform for Sibu to strive in tourism and an advance key to develop new sectors.

He said it served as an opportunity for industry players to get involved.

Also present at the event were Business Events Sarawak chairman Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr Muhammad Leo Toyad, and its chief operating officer Amelia Roziman.