‘Comply with SOP to regain tourists confidence’

(Seated from front left) Sharzede, Hii, Ting, Suriya, and Bob are seen with the RSTG licence recipients.

MIRI: Tourist guides must comply with standard operating procedures (SOP) during this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) to regain tourists’ confidence in the state, said Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting.

He said as the tourism industry reopens after not operating for some three months due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) to stop the spread of Covid-19, tourist guides are now responsible for ensuring health and safety protocols are adhered to.

“Therefore, a tourist guide plays the role in gaining tourists’ trust for safe travels in the state post Covid-19,” he said when presenting the Regional Specific Tourist Guide (RSTG) licence here on Wednesday.

Ting said the ministry is working with the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) on the necessary SOP for the gradual reopening of the tourism industry, including for tour companies, tourist guides, hotels, homestays, museums, and national parks.

He added the state would continue with the Visit Sarawak Campaign with a focus on strengthening the ‘Sarawak More to Discover’ brand and promoting five unique experience themes in the state – Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festivals.

“We are shifting our focus to domestic tourism in view of the travel and movement restrictions. Thus besides continuing with the Visit Sarawak campaign, a new post Covid-19 campaign is implemented with a new tagline ‘Rediscover Yourself in Sarawak!,” Ting said.

He opined that even though Covid-19 had badly impacted the tourism industry, concerted efforts, concrete plans, and focused strategies, would help Sarawak’s tourism industry emerge stronger.

During a press conference, Ting said the RSTG course was organised by his ministry in July last year in collaboration with its federal counterpart and SATT College to address the shortage of tourist guides in Sarawak.

“This move is to further boost tourism and enhance efficiency of Sarawak tourism industry service delivery. The 19 new licensed tourist guides will definitely boost the tourism industry in the northern region,” he said.

Similar RSTG courses are planned for Kuching, Sibu, and Bintulu, with Yayasan Sarawak providing financial assistance in terms of loans to those interested to attend the course.

Among those present were Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak director Suriya Charles Buas, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor, and Bob Zakaria from SATT College.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/07/10/comply-with-sop-to-regain-tourists-confidence/