AirAsia Pontianak – Kuching Route Launch and Promotion

The Air Asia inaugural Pontianak-Kuching direct flight was inaugurated on June 5.

The 45 minute flight departed from Supadio International Airport in Pontianak at 12.10pm (Indonesian time) and touched down in Kuching International Airport at 1.50pm to a rousing welcome from the traditional kompang group.

Also present at the landing were the Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the Assistant Minsiter of Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin, the Indonesian Consul-General in Kuching, Muhammad Abdullah, Chairman of Sarawak Tourism Board Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Bin Aziz and Air Asia’s Chief Executive Officer Aireen Omar.

To celebrate the new route, AirAsia has launched promotional fares with tickets priced at RM89 one way until April 2, for the travel period of June 5 to September 30.

Image shows inaugural flight receiving water salute at Kuching International Airport.
Image shows inaugural flight receiving water salute at Kuching International Airport.

Northern Sarawak Journalists Association pays Sarawak Tourism Board a visit

The President of the Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA), Andy Jong and exco member Thng Joo Hua paid a visit to the Sarawak Tourism Board office in Kuching, on 9 June.

The role of journalism in the promotion of the State’s tourism industry through media coverage of lesser known locations in Sarawak was discussed.

They also discussed the possibility of future collaborations for the benefit of tourism destinations and local-run facilities in Sarawak, particularly Miri and the Northern Sarawak region.

From the left, Mary Wan Mering, Andy Jong and Thng Joo Hua in the Sarawak Tourism Board meeting room.
From the left, Mary Wan Mering, Andy Jong and Thng Joo Hua in the Sarawak Tourism Board meeting room.

Visitors’ arrival on the upswing

The visitors’ arrivals into the State was very  promising and  as of April, arrival has shown an increase of 17.26 percent as compared to the same month in 2016  said the Minister  of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Making his maiden speech at the State legislative Assembly recently as the new Minister, expressed his confidence that Sarawak will be able to achieve the targeted five million tourist arrivals for the year and generating an estimated tourism receipts  of  RM8.9 billion to be channel to the State coffer.

The arrivals in 2016 saw a 3.19 percent rise as compared to 2015, and with the ever growing global tourism business, Datuk Karim expressed optimism that the target will be reached, as long as Sarawak continues its promotion momentum.

Image of the State Legislative Assembly Building in Kuching. Image retrieved from Wikipedia.
Image of the State Legislative Assembly Building in Kuching. Image retrieved from Wikipedia.

12th edition of Borneo Jazz Festival Kicks Off Without a Hitch

The 12th Borneo Jazz Festival kicked off without a hitch on May 12 to 13 at ParkCity Everly Hotel in Miri.

The Festival itself saw crowds of local and international audiences enjoying the Jazz music and the Borneo ambiance.

Preceding the Festival itself were two preview shows on May 9 and 10, as well as a beach clean-up at Luak Esplanade beach on the morning of May 11.

The Festival’s outreach programme for local musicians on Jazz techniques was also a huge success.

Image shows Laila Biali at Borneo Jazz 2017
Image shows Laila Biali at Borneo Jazz 2017

Tourism Industry Welcomes New Minister

The newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, will now take the lead on Sarawak’s tourism in addition to his other State’s Ministerial portfolios.

Now the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Abdul Karim stated that “while he foresees a lot of challenges ahead, he will use his position to ‘bring good things to Sarawak’ through tourism”.

Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the cabinet reshuffle on May 6, which include Datuk Abdul Karim’s new position as Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, a post previously held by him.

Image shows Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Photo credit: Ministry of Housing, Sarawak.
Image shows Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Photo credit: Ministry of Housing, Sarawak.

Borneo International Yachting Challenge is Back

The Borneo International Yachting Challenge (BIYC) is setting sail after a two year absence this July 8 to 15 in Miri.

The challenge will begin with the Miri Harbour Race before proceeding to Labuan and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, with over 30 yachts from various countries.

The BIYC was passed over last year due to the 18th Malaysia Games (Sukma), as Miri was hosting the sailing events.

Image shows the 5th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2008. Photo credit: Mohd Izraai Abd Aziz, Flickr.
Image shows the 5th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2008. Photo credit: Mohd Izraai Abd Aziz, Flickr.

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is the Traveller’s Choice

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa once again is listed as a TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travellers’ Choice Award.

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa also received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor in 2016, an award given to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.

This year, less than one per cent of all accommodations listed in TripAdvisor have received the Traveller’s Choice Awards, based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers across the globe.

For more information, visit www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g1483707-d454983-Reviews-Mulu_Marriott_Resort_Spa-Gunung_Mulu_National_Park_Sarawak.html

Image shows aerial view of Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa.
Image shows aerial view of Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa.

Sarawak Shows Potential in Sports Tourism

Sarawak has proven that it has the potential to be the location for large scale sports tournaments, both local and international.

The response from sports fans in Sarawak was incredible during the 18th Sukma Games on July 23 to 31 last year, which took place throughout the different cities in Sarawak, as well as the Malaysia Open at Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya, on April 4 to 9, to the point where it impressed legendary badminton players such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan.

The stadium during the Malaysia Open was filled to 85 per cent capacity, surprising Chong Wei, who expressed optimism for the future of badminton events in Sarawak. “The huge crowd augurs well for Sarawak badminton. I hope that more international badminton tournaments can be held in Sarawak,” he added.

“For the first time, I received lots of cheers and applause from spectators outside China,” Lin Dan stated in an interview, as he too was caught by surprise by the great reception the tournament received.

Image shows Datuk Lee Chong Wei with his fans after a match during the Malaysia Open at the Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya. Photo credit: Nadim Bokhari, Bernama.
Image shows Datuk Lee Chong Wei with his fans after a match during the Malaysia Open at the Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya. Photo credit: Nadim Bokhari, Bernama.

Miri City’s First Cultural Museum

Renovations on the Miri Resident’s and District office building have begun to transform it into a museum.

The project is currently being headed by the Sarawak Museum Department’s curator, Dayang Norzanah Awang Haddy, who has explained that the first and second phases of the project, which are the renovations on the front and back part of the building respectively, are running smoothly.

This museum will be the second in the city, the first being the Miri Petroleum Museum located on top of Canada Hill, which focuses solely on the development of Miri surrounding the petroleum industry.

This will be the first Museum in the city that shows the historical culture, art and heritage of the different races in Miri.

Image shows the Miri Resident’s and District office. Photo credit: Miri City Council.
Image shows the Miri Resident’s and District office. Photo credit: Miri City Council.

Green energy for Tanjung Datu National Park and nearby turtles’ island

Tanjung Datu National Park, Pulau Talang-Talang Besar and Pulau Talang-Talang Kecil will enjoy “green energy” to be generated by Sarawak Electricity Berhad’s (SEB) centralised solar system

A  MoU signed to finalise SEB’s commitment in providing the Sarawak Forestry Corporation green energy to the turtle landing sites at the National Park  to aid their conservation.

The National Park and the two nearby islands are officially protected turtle nesting sites, as the reefs and beaches are used by the highly endangered Green Turtles and Olive Ridley turtles to lay their eggs. The islands are equipped with a turtle hatchery and research facility.

This is a great boost for environmental tourism, as it takes the National Park one step closer to being an entirely ‘green’ safe haven for endangered flora and fauna as well as conservation tourists.

Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) on March 28.

Image shows Green Turtle at Pulau Talang-Talang Besar. Photo credit: Paun Cher Chin
Image shows Green Turtle at Pulau Talang-Talang Besar. Photo credit: Paun Cher Chin