Sarawak Tourism Board eyes 1,000 Grab drivers as tourism ambassadors

Hii (third, right), Sharzede (third left) and other officials give the thumbs-up during a photo-call on-stage after the launch of the programme in Kuching. — Picture by Muhammad Rais Sanusi via Borneo Post Online
Hii (third, right), Sharzede (third left) and other officials give the thumbs-up during a photo-call on-stage after the launch of the programme in Kuching. — Picture by Muhammad Rais Sanusi via Borneo Post Online

KUCHING, Oct 27 — Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) aims to groom some 1,000 Grab drivers in Sarawak to become tourism ambassadors — a move touted as the first being implemented by any state in the country.

This was revealed by the board during the launch of ‘Sarawak Ambassadors Programme on E-Iearning for E-hailing Drivers’ held at a hotel here yesterday.

“The programme, which is exclusively for e-hailing drivers, aims to equip them with extra knowledge about tourism and also Sarawak’s offerings — meant to enable them to become Sarawak (tourism) ambassadors,” said STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor.

It is informed that this initiative is a joint effort by STB and Grab Academy, as part of continuous efforts by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Sarawak and also the board to boost the state’s tourism industry

Under this programme, Grab Malaysia would be reaching out to between 4,000 and 5,000 e-hailing drivers from its database, who are based in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri; and engaging them in e-learning training.

“We have extended this ambassador concept to Grab drivers, with the hope of enriching their knowledge about Sarawak as a tourism destination and, in turn, grooming them to become Sarawak ambassadors to their clients,” she said, specifying that for this programme, STB would also collabourate with Grab Malaysia in providing the tourism product modules via the Grab Academy platform.

Available in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin, these modules would cover information about Sarawak, its culture and heritage as well as tourist destinations, said Sharzede.

“On the provision of this online learning, the Grab drivers involved will have access to Grab Malaysia’s e-learning platform, the ‘Axonify’, under Grab Academy.

“The modules for e-learning will be facilitated by Akademi Hospitaliti dan Pelancongan Saujana Sdn Bhd (SATT College) to cover the southern, central and the northern regions of Sarawak,” she added.

Meanwhile in his remarks, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee regarded the programme as being ‘extremely timely and apt’, and commended STB for ‘taking such a unique approach’.

“We welcome this programme because (e-hailing) drivers are usually the first contacts that the tourists make upon their arrival, and also during their time exploring various tourist attractions and destinations.

“Hence, it is extremely important for them (e-hailing drivers) to have good knowledge of the major routes, attractions and destinations.

“I would like to call upon all our Grab drivers (in Sarawak) to take this opportunity, and to arm yourselves with the knowledge that would help promote and attract visitors to explore the wonders and offerings of our beautiful state,” said Hii. — Borneo Post Online

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