Resorts Fully Booked for Music Fest
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: More than 1,000 hotel rooms and chalets at four beach and country resorts near the pristine shores of Santubong in the southern tip of the state have been snapped up for the annual Sarawak Rainforest Music Festival – nine months before the start of the music extravaganza.
In what is a testimony to the drawing power of this world music showpiece, the four resorts – the Damai Resort, the Damai Lagoon Resort, the Santubong Resort and the Permai Jungle Resort – have been booked solid.
Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Gracie Geikie said there was no more accommodation available at the site of the three-day event, which starts on July 13.
“The response from overseas is overwhelming. All forms of accommodation, from rooms to chalets, at the four resorts located in Santubong, have been booked way in advance before the event,” she said in an interview yesterday.
“The only accommodation available for the festival now is in Kuching city (about 40km away). Tourists wanting to go to the festival ground will have to use the shuttle service.
“We expect all five-star hotels, tourist-class hotels and motels in Kuching to also be snapped up soon,” said Geikie.
“Our target of getting at least 24,000 tourists to come to the event looks reachable.”
The Sarawak Rainforest Music Festival started 10 years ago and has since become a renowned international ethnic music showpiece, drawing visitors from all over Asia, New Zealand, Australia, South America, North America, the Pacific region and Africa.
Encouraged by the huge response to the world music fest, STB hopes to turn the International Jazz Festival – scheduled to be held in Miri on May 12 and 13 – into another musical showpiece that can attract world attention.
“Sarawak is so big and so diverse that there are many musical events that can be turned into world-famous festivals,” said Geikie, a former beauty queen.
Hailing from Miri, she is the first non-government official to head the state’s most important tourism promotion body.
Source : STAR
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