Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Northern Sarawak to get global TV publicity

Northern Sarawak will be getting global television attention.

CNN, Travel and Living and Discovery Channel will be featuring Miri and northern Sarawak prominently in their programmes soon.

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has concluded deals with these global network giants to give extensive coverage to this northern zone of Sarawak in conjunction with the International Jazz Festival to be held in Miri on May 11 and 12.

STB Chief Executive Officer Gracie Geikie said the publicity to be generated by these worldwide channels would be of enormous value to the state's future tourism drive.

"We are going to get worldwide attention. Imagine the media value from these sort of global publicity. These networks have agreed to highlight us in their shows.

"This part of Sarawak will become more visible and known to people all over the world. We are going to use the musical festival to promote our destinations.

"Music connects people from all countries. We can use this as a tool to get people to know about us so that they will come and visit," she said.

The jazz festival here, held one week before the Miri City anniversary on May 20, is expected to see at least seven groups of renowned jazz bands from United States, Cuba, Australia, India, Morocco, Germany, China and Spain performing at the Parkcity beach resort.

The event, one of the main items on the state tourism calender, is being organised in joint venture with Tourism Malaysia.

Geikie said several corporate giants are chipping in with sponsorship deals, including the Parkcity hotel chain, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Maxis, Astro, Malaysia Airlines and Heineken.

The tickets for the event are available online, and already more than 1,000 seats have been taken up, she noted.

"We are making arrangements for chartered tour groups from Korea and other countries to fly in for the jazz festival and play golf and to visit Mulu and other places. We already have bookings from Brunei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang," she said.

Last year's jazz festival here raked in more than RM1.2 million in tourism income and generated spin-offs for shopping, food and entertainment in this resort city.

Source : STAR
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