Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sarawak the first to set up Bumiputra Tourist Association

Sarawak has become the first state to set up a Bumiputra Tourist Association, a move mooted by the state government to develop greater participations among the bumiputras in the increasingly-lucrative tourism industry.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who launched the association here recently, said tourism was now one of the top fastest growing industries in the state.

“However, the number of bumiputra entrepreneurs in-volved in tourism and related sectors is relatively small.

“We want to encourage more bumiputras to be actively involved in the frontline tourism sectors and the supporting sectors.

“The small and medium-scale entrepreneurs should venture more into such sectors.

“Because they are small, they are more versatile and more flexible in terms of investments in the various tourism-related fields.

“They can take risks and survive. When they fall, they can more easily get up and try again, unlike the big companies that would take a long time to recover if they suffer losses.

“Through the Bumiputra Tour-ist Association, we hope to produce more bumiputras entrepreneurs capable of taking the lead in the tourism sectors,” he said during the launch held at the Miri Civic Centre.

Taib, who is Sarawak First Finance Minister and State Minister for Planning and Re-sources Management, said bumi-putra entrepreneurs must establish a quality standard

“Only when you have a specific level of standard to aim for would you be able to improve and pro-gress.

“The Bumiputra Tourist Asso-ciation must set such minimum standards for all its members.

“For example, those involved in the hotel or food business must have a level of hygiene that they must achieve.

“In terms of customer services, there must also be certain level of quality. These targets are important as they serve as benchmarks,” he said.

Taib said places like Miri where tourism is a crucial industry must always identify new areas to be developed as tourism attractions.

Source : STAR
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