Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sarawak finds niche in musical tourism

MIRI: Following the global attention to the Rainforest World Music Festival and the Miri International Jazz Festival, Sarawak is ready to stage more music fests to draw visitors.

“There is no doubt that such festivals have extraordinary power to attract tourists.

“We are going for more such festivals in the future,” said Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Gracie Geikie.

“What we want to do is promote such festivals by integrating them with tourism products that we already have, such as our natural assets,” she told The Star yesterday.

She said the STB has found that musical fests have extraordinary drawing power to bring in the tourists.

She added that the two annual events have attracted a huge online response, even though there are several months still to the festivals.

The Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching is due to be held in July but to date, more than 6,000 tickets have been sold via the Internet.

More than 1,000 tickets for the Miri jazz fest have been snapped up.

As far as music fests are concerned, the two festivals are the main tourism draws for Sarawak at the moment.

At the same time, there is also an annual cultural festival in Sibu, which emphasises more on dances and food.

Geikie said Singapore had held successful music fests and Sarawak could do the same.

“Ours will have their own unique qualities.

“For example, no other place can offer a package deal that has a Mulu adventure and a jazz festival together,” she said.

Source : STAR
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