Work closely with foreign counterparts to promote Sarawak, local tour agents advised

Lee (front, fourth right) joins Lim, on his right, and Chef Yong (third left) in a group photo with the visitors from Taiwan.

MIRI: Sarawak’s natural heritage should be promoted to foreign tourists more thoroughly, which could be done by collaborating closely with local tour agencies.

In stating this, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said this could benefit local tourism in the long-run.

Moreover, he also called upon local tour agencies to work out comprehensive plans with their counterparts overseas, meant to encourage more tourists to come and visit Sarawak.

“Indeed, there are many travel agencies here that bring in outbound travellers, but ratio between outbound and inbound travellers is at an imbalance. Mapping out plans that could encourage more inbound travellers to Sarawak, particularly Miri, and this would largely benefit local tourism and more importantly, boost the economy here,” he said when met by reporters after welcoming 30 visitors from Taiwan at a hotel here yesterday.

The delegation represented Taipei Restaurant and Beverage Workers Union, which arranged the tour via engagement with travel agencies in Taiwan and Miri.

On another matter, Lee also conveyed the visitors’ request to have more signs and directions here to also incorporate the translation in Mandarin.

“This is so that they can understand them (signs) easily. Moreover, the Wi-Fi service may need some improvements to facilitate better communications. I have already informed the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) about the tourists’ feedback.

“Other than that, the Taiwanese are happy with their maiden trip here,” said the assistant minister, who welcomed the visitors upon their arrival from Mulu.

The Taiwanese had spent two days in Mulu prior to coming here, and they would fly to Kota Kinabalu today.

In his remarks, the union’s director Jacky Lim viewed the environment in Sarawak as being ‘a total opposite from that in Peninsular Malaysia’.

“I have come to Kuching several times for culinary events. I have often visited Kuala Lumpur on short trips. I quickly realise that the ambience between the peninsula and East Malaysia is totally different; it turns out that Sarawak has a more laidback vibe, enabling travellers to just let their hair down despite having undergone a tiring travelling schedule.”

Lim, who often organises culinary events in many countries, said he would encourage his family, relatives and friends to visit Miri and generally, Sarawak, and enjoy the natural heritage here.

“People love talking about food and I believe that the culinary area can bring people together, regardless of nationality, race and religion,” he said, adding that the union would conduct the next trip this Sunday (June 16).

Moreover, Lim also said he was excited by a recent invitation by Miri Chefs Association chairman Yong Wan Khiong to visit this city.

“I often travel to Kuching, therefore I’m quite familiar with Sarawak. However, I get to share this trip with the union members. This trip is a great opportunity for us to enjoy all the food here,” he said.

STB’s Tourist Information Centre Miri personnel Denva Ajeng Wan and Chef Yong were also present at the welcoming event.

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