MIRI (Nov 14): Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and its partners are committed to ensuring all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) pertaining to travelling are in place as it gears up to welcome back visitors to rediscover the culture, adventure, nature, food and festival tourism in the state.
According to STB chairman Dennis Ngau, after almost two years of travelling restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and with Sarawak now transitioning gradually into the endemic phase, local tourism stakeholders have been actively preparing to offer the best travel experience for visitors within stringent compliance with all the relevant SOPs.
“With the intense vaccination rollout having been carried out since February 2021, we can see domestic tourism picking up more and more.
“However, our fight against the Covid-19 is not over yet; therefore I urge our community especially the homestay operators and the local guides to continue adhering to the SOPs towards ensuring the safety of all,” he spoke at the opening of a ‘Media Familiarisation Trip to Mulu National Park on New Norm Travel and Responsible Tourism’ on Thursday.
Adding on, Dennis said Malaysia, and Sarawak especially, could not afford to be put under another lockdown as this would have devastating effect upon those whose incomes relied much on tourism.
Therefore, he called upon the relevant stakeholders to work hand in hand with the STB in encouraging and promoting responsible tourism.
“We must start with ourselves and show good examples to those around us. As true stewards of our land, we can become advocators for responsible tourism towards making a real difference.
“Something as simple as not littering, or not plucking any plant’s flowers or leaves, can make a big difference.”
Dennis also called upon the visitors to connect with local communities during their trips here.
“By doing so, we can help them (locals) generate incomes and obtain job opportunities and in return, it would be one of the most fulfilling experiences for you to have in Sarawak,” he said.
On Mulu National Park, Dennis pointed out that STB would continue to promote the iconic Unesco World Heritage site as a safe destination for the visitors, both domestic and international.
“Sarawak is blessed with beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and natural wonders – all waiting to be explored, and we, as guardians of the future, need to continue to protect and conserve this diverse ecosystem so that we are able to preserve it for many years to come,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak permanent secretary Hii Chang Kii pointed out that Sarawak had already open its borders to fully-vaccinated visitors from all states in the country.
He said it was crucial to highlight this as the ministry was still receiving queries regarding this matter.
“Sarawak is open, as long as you completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccination.
“There is no need to (undergo) quarantine upon arrival (in Sarawak), and there is no need to do PCR or RTK Covid-19 tests prior to departure (from point of origin).
“The only requirement is prior to taking their flight, they need to apply for ‘Enter Sarawak’, attach with it all the relevant documents (such as vaccination certificates, and those related to all bookings if the purpose of travelling is for tourism), and fill in the e-Health declaration form,” said Hii.
Among those present at the Thursday event were STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor, MASwings chief operating officer Capt Nasaruddin A Bakar, Mulu Marriot Resort and Spa manager Benjamin Wolff, as well as a number of several homestays operators and travel guides from Mulu.
The three-day media familiarisation trip to Mulu (Nov 11-13) was arranged by STB, in collaboration with MASwings and Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa.