KUCHING: Organisers of this year’s Bintulu Borneo International Kite Festival (BIKF) are confident that Bintulu can handle the influx of visitors coming for the festival.
According to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, visitors wanting to attend the festival need not worry as there are adequate places to stay.
“We have new and good hotels here,” he told a press conference at his office here yesterday.
Talib said that visitors used to complain about nowhere to stay in Bintulu during major festivals. Now, that problem is no more.
He thus hoped that many people would come to Bintulu to participate or witness the BIKF to be held from Sept 25 to 29.
Talib, who is also Jepak assemblyman, said he was proud that the BIKF had managed to put Bintulu in the world map with the event gaining international recognition and support based on the increasing number of participants each year.
“The festival has been included as one of the main events by Sarawak Tourism Board. It has also managed to place itself along other major events in Sarawak, such as the Rainforest World Music Festival, Miri Jazz festival, and Kaul Festival in Mukah. I even heard outsiders saying the BIKF is one of the largest kite-flying events in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
The festival successfully hosted the ‘The 1st Asia Pacific Sports Kite Championship’ in 2013, attracting teams from Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, with professional judges from England, Japan, France and the USA.
In 2018, BIKF hosted the 1st Global Sportskite Freestyle Challenge, which featured several sports kite champions from Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Europe and the United States. The Malaysian team finished at a respectable ninth position.
Hosted by the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), BIKF has been a national and international tourist attraction in Bintulu since it was successfully organised for the first time in 2005.
Following the encouraging request and response of the first event in 2005, the event has been an annual event in Bintulu, and also a prominent attraction in Sarawak.
Other activities to held in conjunction with the BIKF this year are the Asia Pacific Sports Kite Challenge (APSKC), the national level modern and traditional kite presentations, huge kite performances by international and national participants, demonstrations and workshops to make traditional kites known as ‘wau’, and others.
“We will also have trade and expo during the BIKF while popular singers have been invited to make the event merrier. Stunt and revolution kite performance by international participants and the LolipopDrop event for kids and adults are among to be held,” Talib said.
The organising committee members of this year’s BIKF were also present at the press conference.