THE Sarawak Government is working on setting up a trust fund to promote tourism in the State.
A mechanism for the proposed fund, which will be similar to a cess fund, has already been drawn up.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the details would be finalised after a four-month study on the relevant laws to enable the State to impose and collect contributions from tourism industry players such as hoteliers.
The trust fund would also be used to pay for journalists on tourism promotional events.
This is actually a valuable source for promotion. Haven’t you read an article in a magazine or newspaper on some journalist’s trip to Bali, Australia or some country in Europe and wished you could travel there too?
In fact, many readers base their holiday destination choices on what they’ve read about the destination. This may have a greater influence on their choices than just advertisement campaigns.
It’s good to know that the State Government is working hard to up the game when it comes to tourism development.
The Ministry of Tourism is currently working on a three-pronged approach to consolidate and improve air connectivity and land infrastructure, as well as improve services such as having well-trained tour guides and hotel services.
These are all vital efforts because tourism is one of the priority industries of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), which will ensure that the State has a concrete plan for real transformation and not just passing change.
The Star’s report:
Plan to set up trust fund to boost tourism
KUCHING: Sarawak mulls the setting up of a trust fund for tourism promotion.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said mechanism for the proposed trust fund, similar to a cess fund, had been drawn up.
“Details will be worked out after a four-month study,” he told reporters after chairing the state tourism steering committee meeting here yesterday.
Also present were state assistant tourism ministers Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Datuk Gramong Juna.
Johari said a study on the relevant laws had also to be carried out to enable state authorities to impose and collect contributions from tourism industry players such as hoteliers.
He said the trust fund would also be used to sponsor journalists on tourism promotional events.
“My ministry is to adopt three approaches, with priority to consolidate and improve air connectivity and land infrastructure.
“We have to improve our services, like having well-trained tour guides while our hotel services must be of high standard,” he added.
Emphasising the importance of having well-planned tourism promotional programmes, he said the state’s focus should be on Asia Pacific region as it was an important market.
He said Sarawak and Sabah were strategically located between the emerging giants, China and India.
The state, Johari added, had to maximise its strength in various tourism products and nature to take advantages of the global green movement.
He said a committee headed by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) was designing a syllabus in tour guiding, probably a two-year diploma course, to be taught by institutions of higher learning.
The syllabus would incorporate a curriculum from the Forest Department.
Tour guides, including those from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, might have to pass an examination to be introduced by the state in order to operate in the state.
He said these measures were aimed to improve tour guiding.
Johari was later presented with several logo designs for the Asean International Film Festival and Awards, which Sarawak will host next year.