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Borneo, Sarawak, Sarawak Tourism

Go for a holiday in Sarawak this school break

I REALISE this is a short school break of only just one week.

However, it is a great time to spend quality time with the family at a Sarawak holiday spot.

Reading a report on the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation’s (SEDC’s) affordable school holiday packages got me thinking.

Why don’t more Sarawakians visit our local tourism jewels?

Why is it that foreigners travel all the way to our State to visit places such as Mulu and Niah, as well as our longhouses and beaches, but many Sarawakians, who can afford to, would rather travel to Kuala Lumpur or overseas for holidays.

Perhaps cost is a factor — ironically sometimes flights to Kuala Lumpur are cheaper than to Mulu, or perhaps we just want a change of scene.

As Sarawakians, however, shouldn’t we visit local destinations which have put our State on the global tourism map?

Lonely Planet picked Sarawak as part of its Best in Travel 2012 book, describing Sarawak as part of a region that is “a tropical island getaway”.

Why would we need to get away from this getaway?

Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip said the SEDC packages would provide cheaper holiday options for holidaymakers and also help to stimulate the local economy.

“Sarawak has so much to offer, from nature to historical sites. So why not go for a holiday locally? It is cheaper,” he is quoted as saying.

If you’re in Kuching, why not take a drive to the gorgeous beaches in Lundu, climb Gunung Santubong (but stay safe!), visit the Fairy Caves or try the natural hot spring at Anah Rais?

If you’re in Miri, well isn’t it time you visited Mulu or Niah? It is sad how many Sarawakians have never been to Mulu — a world heritage site!

In Sibu? When was the last time you visited Bukit Aup Jubilee Park or climbed the seven-storey Pagoda? How about a drive to Mukah for some of the freshest umai?

Bintulu residents, it’s time to get back to nature at Similajau National Park or take the kids to Taman Tumbina.

My point is there are plenty of local destinations where we can spend great quality time with our family members.

So if you haven’t already made plans for this short break or you aren’t already in KL or overseas, how about going local this holiday? Or the next!

A report from The Borneo Post:

Go for a holiday, locally, this school break

By Eve Sonary Heng

KUCHING: Sarawak Economic Development Corporation’s tourism and leisure properties yesterday launched affordable school holiday packages in conjunction with the upcoming school holidays.

Its chairman who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Datuk Talib Zulpilip, said the packages would provide cheaper option for holidaymakers as a way to stimulate the local economy.

“Sarawak has so much to offer, from nature to historical sites. So why not go for a holiday locally? It is cheaper,” he said at the launching which also saw the presence of SEDC general manager Soedirman Aini and travel agents.

Holidaymakers can look forward for a memorable experience with what the state has to offer – ranging from pristine underwater marine life, untouched coral reefs and wilderness, rich cultural heritage, beach resorts to modern city landscape.

Talib said that holidaying at a local beach resort for RM200 a night was a lot cheaper than holidaying in similar resort overseas that might charge US$300 to US$400 a night.

“Besides, hotel rates in Malaysia are very low compared to hotels in other countries which may be rated the same as ours,” he said.

SEDC’s tourism and leisure properties, namely Grand Margherita Hotel, Riverside Majestic Hotel, Damai Beach Resort and Sarawak Cultural Village will be offering many exciting school holiday packages.

For RM185, holidaymakers can enjoy a night stay at Damai Beach Resort with free breakfast for two persons, free entrance to Kids’ Village, enjoy 10 per cent discount for entrance passes to Sarawak Cultural Village, 10 per cent off on food and beverage at Cafe Satang, 10 per cent less on boat cruise charges, and 20 per cent discount on spa and massage treatment at Borneo Odyssey Spa.

For more information, call 082-846 200/300 or 019-886 4088.

For those who want to enjoy a combined stay at Kuching and beach resort area, the ‘School’s Out’ joint package at RM500, which offers one night stay at either the Grand Margherita Hotel or Riverside Majestic Hotel and another night at Damai Beach Resort would be ideal.

In addition, this package also offers various exciting activities for holidaymakers and their families. Holidaymakers can also opt for a cultural rendezvous by heading to the Sarawak Cultural Village which features fun cultural-related activities.

The village is offering ‘Family Holiday Package’ and ‘My Holiday Package’ for this school holiday, which include village stay in the Bidayuh longhouse, ethnic cuisine set lunch and lesson in ethnic dance, music or crafts.

“In view of the uncertain global economic situation and rising costs, Malaysians should embark on domestic tourism instead of holidaying overseas.

“Besides being a cheaper option which results in some savings, domestic tourism is also capable of stimulating the economy which would result in revenue generation via the multiplier effect. As such, it is something beneficial, not only for holidaymakers, but also the country as well,” said Talib.

More information on tourism can also be obtained at website http://www.sedctourism.com.

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