KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud wants tourism players to help tap the full potential of Sarawak’s eco-tourism products.
He said these unique products, which made the Land of the Hornbills different from the peninsula, were mostly found in rural areas.
“It is in the rural areas where nature is at its best, where cultural practice is well-preserved and where there are a lots of animals and plants to show to tourists,” he added before presenting Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Appreciation Awards 2006 to the winners at Crowne Plaza Riverside Hotel here on Monday night.
Sarawak Tourism Federation, which hosts the annual event to give recognition to outstanding tourism players, received 368 entries - the highest so far.
He said it was vital for Sarawak tourism promoters to be well-versed with the various tourism products so as to provide tourists with information, like how to get to the the eco-tourism spots.
Taib said Sarawak and Sabah could share their marketing strategies as the two states had the country’s best eco-tourism attractions.
On Visit Malaysia Year 2007, the Chief Minister was confident that despite air services connections problems, Sarawak could achieve its target of attracting 3.5mil visitors this year.
The state recorded more than 3mil visitors and its tourism sector grew by about 8% last year.
Federation’s president Wee Hong Seng said the awards were to acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by tourism players towards the development of the state’s tourism industry.
Lamin Dana - a Melanau boutique lodge in Mukah, central Sarawak - was the overall winner for the private sector.
The lodge was founded by a former journalist with The Star, Diana Rose.
Source : STAR
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