Lots of fun: Johari and Talib in their cowboy attire making their entry into the Sarawak Tourism Industry Night Wild Wild West in a wagon.
Kuching: Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has given his assurance that the state’s air connectivity problem could be mitigated sometime this year.
He said air connectivity which was important for the state’s tourism industry was interrupted due to the rationalisation exercise between Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.
“You don’t expect the people to swim to Sarawak,” he said during Sarawak Tourism Industry Night’s Wild, Wild West held by the Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies (Asia) on Sunday evening.
Johari said even if the air routes had to be disconnected, it should not have been done so abruptly.
“It was as if they wanted to sabotage the routes. Anyway, I will fight for the air connectivity,” he stressed.
He revealed that there would be a major plan for the tourism industry in the state.
He said he could not reveal the plan yet, but assured that once it was settled all players in the industry must be responsive to it.“We need to create our niche market to make our tourism attractive,” he said.
He said travel agents should promote the state’s rich culture and heritage, especially to foreign tourists.
As the cultures here were very different from those in the West he was sure westerners would like to experience ours, he said.In this, he said tourist guides must know the basic history of the state and be well versed in various languages so as to be able to communicate with foreign tourists.
“The examination for tourist guides can be done locally and still be recognised by the Tourism Ministry.
“For new tourist guides, it is hoped that they have at least a diploma qualification,” he said, adding that next year would be a busy year for the state as the Tourism Ministry was looking at bringing an international event.