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‘Promote other places as well, not just Sibu’
Tarikh : 04 Feb 2018  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online

oleh Jane Moh.

Tiong (left) presents a certificate of appreciation and a memento to Hii, as others look on.

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has been challenged to promote not just this town, but also other places across the central region as popular tourist destinations.

Throwing the challenge was the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Hii Chang Kee when he spoke at the council’s appreciation dinner in Tanahmas Hotel here recently.

“If you are just promoting Sibu as a town, they (tourists) would only come for a day – or at the most, two nights.

“But if you promote Sibu as a gateway to the places across the central region and show them what is available in Mukah, Sarikei, Kapit, Bintangor and so forth, a few days would not be enough,” he said.

Hii also pointed out that by using this town as the gateway, tourists would treat this place as the threshold to other attractions in the central region, and return here after visiting there.

Other players in the tourism industry should work with the council to make this town a popular gateway, he suggested.

“Package it, so that they can go beyond Sibu. By doing so, the central region could be a week well spent for tourist’s experience,” he enthused.

Hii also called upon the SMC to be more far-sighted and more creative in packaging tourism products.

“Tourism is not your main business, but you have regarded tourism as one of your core businesses. You have promoted the town and made a name for Sibu, especially through Visit Sibu Year 2017.”

Hii said it is the duty of the council to ensure that tourists would feel at home once they arrive here.

“The moment they touch down at the airport and go to the town, when they see the town is in orderly manner, the people are friendly, the people are civic-conscious – I think this gives a good first impression of Sibu,” he said.

On Borneo Culture Festival (BCF) as a signature event for this town, Hii suggested that a survey be conducted on the number of tourists turning up for the event and use the collected data to convince more ‘investments’ for the event.

He also said the ministry is trying its best to promote tourism in the state.

“There will be two major sports events next year – the World Para Swimming Championships in September, and the Asean Masters Athletic Championships in December,” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King urged all his staff to be innovative and creative in seizing opportunities and meeting new challenges ahead.

“Most importantly, we need to address our concern for efficiency and effectiveness as our sustainability relies on engaging those that are strategic to us.

“Our ultimate mission is to create and sustain an urban environment that is conducive to the wellbeing of all the communities in Sibu,” he said.

Noting that all councillors and staff members had worked hard towards giving optimum services with the resources available, Tiong still reminded them about ‘there is no room for complacency’.

The dinner also hosted SMC deputy chairperson Rogayah Jamain.