KUCHING: Hong Kong – Kuching direct route’s inaugural flight is set on this 28 May. “The twice weekly inaugural flight will depart from Hong Kong International Airport at 1.55am and is expected to arrive at Kuching International Airport at 5.30am, with the return flight departing at 6.20am and arriving at 9.55am,” said Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip during a press conference at Sarawak Tourism Complex here, yesterday.
A traditional Sarawak welcoming ceremony awaits at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) with garlands for passengers.
“As they no longer need to go through immigration screening in Kuala Lumpur and wait for another flight to Kuching, it will ease the passengers and with this, more tourist will come to Kuching as this direct flight can save them cost and time, he added.
If it shows positive outcome, they will consider doing the same from Sibu and Miri as well and will collaborate with other airlines where existing flights are only operated by Hong Kong Airlines, Talib also said.
The inaugural flight has been long anticipated with Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and Sarawak Tourism Board having been working on it since the state last hosted the Routes Asia 2014 which was held in March 2014.
According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Datu Ik Pahon this was the beginning of an exciting time for Sarawak, as they continued to work on the state accessibility and creating a new ‘hub that borders Kuala Lumpur and Singapore’.
Meanwhile the 19th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is to be held at Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai on 5 to 7 August, Talib stated.
“The RWMF prides itself for being voted among the top 25 international music festivals by Songlines, a renowned world music magazine based in the United Kingdom for six consecutive years.
“It is the first and largest event of its kind in Malaysia with 18 bands from around the world and throughout Borneo sharing their culturally-rich music, including groups such as Teada from Ireland, Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band from Ghana, 1DRUM.ORG from Malaysia, Broukar from Syria, Derek Gripper from South Africa, Shanren from China and Torgeir Vasvik from Norway,” he said after handing over stickers to Taxi Association and ‘penambang’ (boat) in conjunction with the promotion of Hong Kong – Kuching direct route and RWMF 2016 at Kuching Waterfront.
Aside from the nightly performances, there will be informative and interactive afternoon workshops throughout the three-day festival, revolving around the theme of ethno-musical significance.
There will also be fringe events namely the Rainforest World Bazaar and the Food and Village Mart, where you can buy the local arts, crafts and cuisine of Borneo, as well as the Borneo Tattoo Expo at Damai Central where you can see the traditional tattoos of the indigenous people of Sarawak.
The event is supported by Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines as sponsor.
Festival tickets and updates are now available online from the ticketing agents listed at www.rwmf.net with pre-sale prices available until 4 August.
- Datuk Talib Zulpilip (left) and Datu Ik Pahon (right) affixing the sticker on a cab while others look on. PHOTO: JULIE NGADAN