Last night saw members of the Kuching media fraternity treated to an elaborate Masquerade themed Media Night hosted by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) at Imperial Hotel Kuching. It was a night where the media got to put their feet down and just enjoy a night of food, entertainment, fun and win some awesome lucky draw prizes!!!
The hall was decorated ever elaborately and the guests looked stunning in their masquerades and their fancy outfits.
“It has been a tough time for the tourism industry the world over. But it is through the media, that we are able to bring about more than a billion people virtually to Sarawak, and have hopefully, somehow enticed them to visit once it is safe to travel again. Thank you again for the effort in making our vision to increase the visibility and awareness of our beautiful Sarawak to the world, a reality,” said Guest of Honour, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who is the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak in his speech at the juncture.
He added that the downtime was taken as an opportunity to re-strategise to prepare and ensure comprehensive tourism recovery plans, to improve and rebuild destinations, to encourage innovation, and rethink the tourism sector, in preparation for 2021 and the post-pandemic era.
“Though the Covid-19 may not be fully over next year, we are optimistic to see increased travel activities with the opening of greenzones and travel bubble with the possibility of the opening of borders within the region,” he continued, adding, “As we enter the recovery phase, we have adopted the 3R of Rebuilding & Relief, Recovery Collaboration and Redialling.”
“This year, we had started to carry out the 3R strategy by introducing and implementing many successful programmes and initiatives to restart, enhance and help sustain the local tourism industry,” he said, citing initiatives like the Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) for travel agencies, the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund, “Sia Sitok Sarawak” Intra-state Travel Campaign. Sarawak, he said, was also the first to collaborate with GRAB Malaysia to introduce the e-hailing online-based learning Ambassadors Programme for e-hailing drivers to enhance their knowledge on Sarawak, to become the State’s tourism ambassadors.
“And early next year we hope to announce our much anticipated inter-state Campaign for Peninsular Malaysians to visit our beautiful Sarawak,” Karim continued, adding that Responsible Tourism will be the essence in driving the tourism sector while all these are being implemented.
“All these initiatives will not be known and made successful if it was not for all of you (the media), who have continuously supported us, throughout. Let’s work together to instil confidence and faith, and spark the joy and excitement to travel again.”
In his text speech presented by STB’s Deputy Chairman, Hii Chang Kee, STB Chairman, Dennis Ngau expressed his admiration for the work done by STB and their efforts to continuously promote Sarawak to the world, “…and I am happy to know the team received great support from the media for the great work they do and push the boundaries of our tourism and hospitality, in full gear!”
He said this year had been tough for the tourism sector, but thanks to the media, STB was able to bring more Sarawak stories, especially promoting its Intra state campaign, Sia Sitok Sarawak, and other initiatives and programmes such as Sarawak Ambassador Program with e-hailing drivers, Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) for travel agencies and the Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund.
“To the media, the Board really appreciates you for the hard-work and eagerness to spread Sarawak stories with unique and different angle to the world. We hope that we can treasure this relationship for the greater good and look forward to work together in coming future.”
The night ended with the naming of the King and Queen of the night, in the best dressed male and female category, followed by the final grand draw, which rewarded its top winner with a brand new iPhone 12 Mini!