Tuesday, October 3

Kapit a destination for experiential tourism, says Tourism M’sia state chief


Noriah (standing) addressing the longhouse residents during a community engagement session. – Photo by Conny Banji

KAPIT (Sept 12): Local people should support domestic tourism as part of efforts to revitalise the industry which was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In stating this, Tourism Malaysia Sarawak director Noriah Jaafar suggested Kapit as one of the places in the state which offers experiential tourism through its beautiful natural landscapes and rivers.

“After the outbreak of Covid-19, people are significantly more health-conscious. They start to go hiking, cycling and do other healthy activities to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

“They can go and visit rural areas like Kapit where they will be able to enjoy fresh air and organic food produced by the local community,” she said when met at Rumah Gari Timbang in Sungai Kain here.

Noriah was one of 16 participants of the ‘Sarawak Product Experience (SPE) Balleh Culture Experience’ programme at Rumah Gari.

The programme, joined by Song district office representative Harry Don Bosco, Kapit district office representative Caroline John Sikie, travel agents, photographers and online page promoters, was organised by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) from Sept 7 to 9.

Noriah also suggested that the 29-door Rumah Gari – renowned for producing some of the finest ‘pua kumbu’ – to look at promoting its beautiful surroundings.

According to her, she was amazed when she saw how clean and clear the water of Sungai Kain was.

STB Digital Unit manager Heidi Tay Lian Ai takes a dip in the pristine water of Sungai Kain. – Photo by Michael Wong Siong Hang of Unzip Bintulu

“We are aware that many rivers in Sarawak have yellowish water. So if we go to this kind of area, we can see how clean the river is.

“Tourists should experience this. I am quite surprised because we still have an unpolluted river here in Sungai Kain,” she said.

She also said visitors to Rumah Gari can get firsthand experience on the making process of ‘pua kumbu’ from scratch using plants foraged from the forest.

This way, the people will appreciate the value of local products, Noriah added.

“As a West Malaysian, we thought that ‘pua kumbu’ is the one we can buy at RM10 at the bazaar. People often question when they see ‘pua kumbu’ being sold at RM100 per piece at booths during National Craft Day, for example.

“That is because they do not know the arduous process to make ‘pua kumbu’,” she said.