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Thursday August 26, 2010

SEDC to invest RM30mil in Kuching tourism

SARAWAK Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) will spend RM30mil to boost the Kuching tourism sector.

Its general manager Wan Lisozman Wan Omar said the expenditure would include the setting up of the proposed Damai Bay Bazaar and the upgrading of two other facilities – the popular Kuching Waterfront and Top Spot Food Court in Taman Kereta.

Aerial view: An artist’s impression of the proposed Damai Bay Bazaar in Damai, Kuching.

The Damai Bay Bazaar, which is currently under construction, is sited on a 1ha site along a scenic bay facing the South China Sea in between Damai Beach Resort and Damai Puri Resort and Spa fronting the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Wan Lisozman, who is also SEDC tourism and leisure director, said the project would involve the conversion of the hard-to-reach seafront into an oasis of leisure and recreation.

He told press briefing at Menara SEDC in Kuching yesterday that the bazaar, the latest addition to SEDC’s tourism facilities, was aimed at bringing vibrancy to the Damai area with its mix of shopping, leisure, recreation and dining facilities to complement the surrounding resorts and attractions.

He said that some spaces and retail shops at the bazaar would be rented out to potential tenants while others would be operated by the properties owned by SEDC in the area.

On the Kuching Waterfront and Top Spot Food Court, he said the upgrading work, which was still in progress, was part of SEDC’s continuous efforts to help create and deliver a memorable experience for visitors to the city.

He said the 1km Kuching Waterfront would be extended by 380m from Khatulistiwa to an area behind Grand Margherita Hotel and Menara SEDC.

The extension works, entailed the addition of a broadwalk elevated over the river as well as the partial reclamation and enlargement of the riverbank at strategic locations, he added.

He said the upgrading work on the Kuching Waterfront was expected to be completed in February next year.

On the Top Spot Food Court, he said the refurbishment work which started in March was scheduled for completion in November.

“Upgrading works at Top Spot Food Court include a larger covered dinning area at the on level 6 of the building, a surau, a new lift and a new washroom facilities on level 5 to accommodate the physically challenged.

“We are also upgrading the two lifts at the building to accommodate more passengers,” he added.

Wan Lisozman said that SEDC was also upgrading the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), the icon of the state and a must-visit attraction for local and foreign visitors.

The upgrading works include the new Bidayuh Longhouse to replace the existing one, the Rainforest World Music Gallery, Arts Learning Centre and Tea Garden.

Wan Lisozman said the new Bidayuh Longhouse was built to accommodate the popular village-stay programme, while the Rainforest World Music Gallery would house a collection of musical instruments from all over the world and serve as a performance venue for the award-winning musical group Tuku Kame.

He said the Arts Learning Centre, which would be located at the village’s Dewan Legenda, would comprise a studio, a resource centre, a costume gallery and a lecture room. The Tea Garden will be situated at the waterfall area.

“Upon completion, there will be interactive performances by artistes of SCV such as fashion shows and musical jamming sessions. There will also be local tea on sale and served at the Tea Pavillion,” he added.

All four projects, according to Wan Lisozman, were funded by the Federal Government under the stimulus package.

SEDC has been one of the state’s major tourism players since the 1970s, pioneering the development of international class hotels, resorts and tourist attractions in Kuching and Damai.

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