Abdul Karim (fourth left) flanked by Hii and Abdul Wahab, alongside (from fourth right) Audry, Sharzede and others giving their thumbs up during the launching ceremony of the Sia Sitok Sarawak campaign. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi
KUCHING (Aug 17): The ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ campaign launched today serves as the state government’s initiative to revitalise the Sarawak tourism sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that the intrastate campaign would not only benefit industry players as well as tour and park guides and operators but also Sarawakians who wished to tour within the state.
He added that the campaign would serve as a stimulus package for the tourism sector in the state while providing confidence to revitalise the industry.
“I believe this package is good for Sarawakians to explore the various products as well as tourism destinations in the state,” Abdul Karim said when speaking at a press conference after officiating the campaign at a hotel here today.
He said the initiative that was carried out through the subsidies given by the state government could also provide job opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sectors as many of those working in these sectors lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“As such, we believe that with the launch of this campaign, we can gain the confidence from tourists especially the locals of which they will definitely revitalise this industry,” he said.
Earlier when speaking at the launching ceremony, Abdul Karim said there were over 30 exciting intrastate packages offered, which included day trips and non-overnight tours as well as full board multiple day trips with accommodation and meals in Kuching, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Mulu.
The three-month campaign began on July 15 and will carry on to Oct 15, with the travel period starting now until Nov 30.
However, Abdul Karim announced that the travel period had been extended to December this year to provide Sarawakians with the opportunity to enjoy the packages offered under the campaign.
Among packages offered in the campaign are the Sarawak River Sunset Cruise, Irrawaddy Dolphin Cruise at Santubong, bird watching at Kubah National Park, Fun Dive day trip at Satang Island, Evening Kuching Wetland Tour, Bako National Park, full-board Tanjong Datu National Park Tour, and Miri Golfing at Eastwood Golf Club Miri.
“This Sia Sitok Sarawak campaign has been delicately planned by Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) to include various packages at substantial discounts of up to 50 per cent to help revive and boost local travel.
“For a start, the campaign will first be opened to Sarawak Covid-19 frontline warriors and relief workers – medical staff, Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), the Army, the Malaysian Civil Defense Force (APMM), Fire and Rescue Department and others.
“These group of heroes truly deserve this priority treatment in appreciation for their hard work, putting their lives on the line to help curb the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
He added that these packages will then be extended to all Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians residing in Sarawak (with Work Permits) so that they can experience the beauty of Sarawak as well as its attractive tour products at more affordable prices.
With the campaign ending in October and the travel period extended to December, Abdul Karim announced that the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) would be initiating the Interstate Package Sarawak by mid-September.
“This is another Public-Private Partnership initiative, where this is a package for us to encourage domestic travel from Peninsula Malaysia.
“The Interstate Package Sarawak will start from mid-September with travelling period from October to December. This catalytic programme will activate our Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) – an incentive created to provide Sarawak travel agencies with support for its tourist arrivals, domestic or international,” he added.
Also present during the launching ceremony were Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, STB chief executive officer Sharzed Salleh Askor, STF president Audry Wan Ulok and former STB chairman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz.
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