SIBU: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has allocated RM48.25 million to implement nine projects in Sarawak under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Its minister Dato Sri Nancy Shukri said the projects included the Provision of Tourism Facilities, Eco-Tourism and Homestay Malaysia Experience programmes aimed at providing comfort to tourists from within and outside the country.
“The ministry is always striving to introduce Malaysia as a major tourist destination by highlighting attractive tourism products including art and cultural elements in the country,” she added.
Nancy was responding to questions from Senator Robert Lau who wanted to know the amount of allocation that has been approved and channelled to Sarawak to promote tourism, arts and culture under the 11th Malaysia Plan, for organising international programmes, in the Dewan Negara recently.
She said the ministry, through the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), also promoted and marketed Malaysia as a destination for international business events, namely Meetings, Corporate Incentive Visits, Convention and Exhibitions (MICE) through various campaigns such as the ‘Malaysia Like Never Before’ (MLNB) campaign and the Malaysia Twin deal (MTD) programme for the MICE/Business Events segments.
She said Sarawak was one of five destinations focused on advertising in magazines and bulletins as well as international online which has worldwide coverage.
“MyCEB also provides a platform for Sarawak to get new leads by participating in international trade fairs such as AIME Melbourne, IT&CM Shanghai, IMEX Frankfurt, IT & CMA Bangkok, IMEX USA and IMTM Barcelona every year to promote the state as one of the country’s MICE/Business Events destinations.”
Nancy said the business event support provided by MyCEB had successfully brought in 22 international business events to Sarawak during the 11th MP.
Among them were the 55th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2016, Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) 2018 and International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) 2018.
Nancy added that the entry of this business event had provided a return or economic impact of RM144 million with the presence of 7,075 international delegates who benefited not only Sarawak but the country as a whole.
She also said the ministry, through Tourism Malaysia™ had helped in terms of participation in the promotion of tourism products at international and local exhibitions.
At every international exhibition attended by TM such as World Travel Mart (WTM) in London, International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin, Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) Dubai, South Indian Travel and Tourism Exhibition (SATTE), New Delhi and Asean Tourism Forum (ATF), the culture of the Malaysia community, especially Sarawak, was always showcased through performances that showcased dance moves and traditional costumes, the statement added.
In continuing to support the activities implemented by Sarawak cultural non-governmental organisation, Nancy said they also channelled financial assistance to promote Sarawak arts and cultural programmes at the local and international levels.
Among them are the holding of Kenyalang Alive Traditional Art Stage Programme: Sape Musical Expression and the staging of Jasmine Sarawak 2018, Rainforest Fringe Festival 2019 which is the preliminary programme of Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival, and Sibu International Dance Festival 2019.
She added that 16 cultural NGOs in Sarawak which are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic had also received financial assistance to help them manage their administration.