10 Festivals From Sarawak For Malaysia's "Year Of Festival" Tourism Year

Last update: 13/08/2014

SIBU, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Sarawak is submitting 10 festivals to be included in Malaysia's "Year Of Festival" tourism year 2015.

Permanent secretary to the State Tourism Ministry, Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik said the festivals were among the major ones held every year in Sarawak.

These events were chosen for their uniqueness and for their presentation of the colourful culture and traditions of the local ethnic communities, he told the media after opening a course 'Toward Successful Event Management' here, Wednesday.

The course is jointly organised by the State Tourism Ministry and the Sarawak Skill Development Centre.

He said the festivals included the World Rainforest Music Festival and the Sarawak Regatta from Kuching, the Pesta Benak (Tidal Bore Festival) of Seri Aman, Borneo Cultural Festival of Sibu and the "Pesta Kaul" (Melanau traditional thanksgiving and offering ceremony) of Mukah.

"We will write to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to seek financial grants for the organisers," he added.

He said the 'Year of Festival' would be a continuation of the 'Visit Malaysia Year 2014'.

It is aimed at creating awareness among Malaysians and foreign visitors on the various festivals in the country, he added.

Earlier in his speech, Ik Payon called on organisers of major state tourism events to submit to the ministry the estimated economic value generated by their activities.

This, he said, could assist them in seeking grants from the ministry.

Citing a survey by the Kuching North City Council, he said, it showed that about RM2 million was generated into the city economy by various activities held during the Sarawak Regatta 2013.

"Of the amount, about RM800,000 came from sales of food and beverages and RM1.2 million from handicraft products.

"This indicates that these festivals can contribute positively to the local economy, besides strengthening the social bond among the people of different races," he said.