SIBU: Visit Sibu Year, which was originally proposed for next year, has been postponed to 2017.
The reasons, according Sibu Municipal Council deputy chairman Datuk Andrew Wong, were because the facilities and the AirAsia Sibu-Kota Kinabalu air connectivity were not ready yet.
The council had since the beginning of this year started to make preparations for the Visit Sibu Year 2016. This included having three mural paintings done in the town centre, improvement of roads condition and sprucing up the central market.
Wong said it could only renovate the town square after the Chinese New Year 2016, which falls on Feb 8 and 9.
“The town square has been heavily booked for activities until the Chinese New Year. During this time, we cannot renovate the facility there,” he told a press conference yesterday.
On the Sibu-KK flight, he said it was very much needed to bring in foreign tourists for the Visit Sibu Year. The Transport Ministry, he said, had yet to give its approval for AirAsia to commence this sector.
“To make Visit Sibu Year successful, the most important thing is to have (better) air connectivity, not only with one but two transit points,” he said.
Wong said at present Sibu-KK was served by MasWings only. Moreover, MasWings’ smaller aircraft could not carry many passengers at a one time and there was limited frequency.
He said it would need at least six months prior to the event for promotional activities.
“We can’t implement the flight in January as we need at least six months to do a lot of promotions for the flight so that tourists can get a cheaper airfare. At this moment, the ministry has yet to approve our application,” he said.
Sibu is currently served by domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kuching, Miri, Bintulu besides Sibu-KK by MasWings.
Wong said despite the postponement of the event to 2017, it would officially launch it in January next year.