MIRI, March 3 — Aggressive marketing strategies and cooperation from local tourism players will boost the state government’s efforts to achieve its target of drawing four million visitors to Sarawak this year, says Datuk Sebastian Ting.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts said this in his address when representing Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah to officiate at the 4th Pesta Bubuk Miri (Miri Krill Festival) at Batu Satu Fishermen Market here, yesterday.

Ting, who is also the Piasau assemblyman, said such a holistic marketing strategy involving all stakeholders, local businesses and communities is essential in preparing Miri for the Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

“On the government’s part, this involves the development of infrastructures and the promotion of ecotourism,” he said.

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“The government prioritises sustainable tourism, where there will be a balance between the industry and the preservation of natural resources,” he said, adding the government’s efforts to minimise environmental impacts.

“All parties should therefore play their respective roles and not rely solely on the government’s efforts,” he stressed.

Touching on Miri’s tourism marketing strategy with its tagline ‘Going International’, Ting remarked that the Miri City Council (MCC) has been actively promoting the city, locally and abroad.

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“Under its current tourism strategy, MCC is committed to achieve its vision of turning Miri into a ‘Green, Smart and the Most Liveable International Resort City’.

“This Pesta Bubuk adds to Miri’s potential in tourism as it is the only festival for promoting ‘Bubuk’ in Malaysia,” he said, adding that this festival would attract foreign visitors, especially from its neighbouring country Brunei Darussalam.

“The upgrading of infrastructures and facilities, as well as the completion of Pan-Borneo Highway will enable the tourists to explore Sarawak, including Miri,” he said.

In his address, Ting also praised the organising committee of Pesta Bubuk Miri for the success of the event.

“Well done and congratulations to the organisers – Tourism Development Standing Committee of MCC and Persatuan Nelayan Batu 1 for successfully organising this festival.

“Today’s festival is a good example of cooperation between all parties in empowering tourism in Miri and in supporting the Sarawak government’s call towards achieving the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy’s (PCDS) 2030 goals.

Ting also proposed that the Pesta Bubuk, in future, be extended to the weekend to allow more people to visit the event, especially those from Brunei Darussalam who would often visit the city on weekends.

Meanwhile, on the popularity of Miri’s belacan, Ting suggested that the locally-made shrimp paste be patented just like Bintulu’s belacan.

“Miri’s belacan has its own special features and demand, of which the product can go beyond borders with extensive marketing strategy,” he said.

Among those present were Miri mayor and Pujut assemblyman Adam Yii, Deputy Mayor Ariffin Mohamad, and MCC’s Tourism Development Committee chairman Councillor John Trawe. — Borneo Post