SIBU: Located in the heartland of the central region of the state, this town is ready to welcome visitors from throughout the world to experience many of its best kept secrets.
The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has announced that 2017 will be Visit Sibu Year (VSY 2017).
Bubu (Bujang Sibu), which is inspired by a crocodile, will be the official mascot for the campaign.
The town is proud to showcase its many attractions and friendly people from various races and religious backgrounds.
They can also boast of their signature food products of kampua mee (Foochow dry noodle), prawn noodle, pulut panggang, dian bian ngu (a thick soupy dish of cooked rice) and kompia – Chinese burger.
Whereas for places of interest, it has many, including community parks, the mighty Rajang River, Tua Pek Kong Temple, Bukit Aup Jubilee Park and several eco-tourism spots.
For large-scale events, it is famous for its Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu Base Jump and Sibu International Dance Festival.
The theme for VSY 2017 is “Sibu Heartland of Borneo”.
The campaign was launched on Saturday night at the town square to much fanfare, with artistes performing songs and cultural performances taking centre stage.
Malaysian singer-songwriter Shila Amzah performed several songs in Mandarin, English and Malay.
Municipal council deputy chairman Datuk Andrew Wong said the launch was a culmination of two years of planning.
“The launch is a starting point for Sibu to showcase what it has to offer to the world.
“Some claim that Sibu is one of the country’s best kept secrets in tourism. So tonight, we are extending an invitation to the whole world to come and experience what we have to offer,” he said.
VSY 2017, he said, was not just about the town as they were also using it to highlight places in the central region, from Sarikei to Kapit, to the world.
Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ong Hong Peng said organising VSY 2017 showed how serious the state government and SMC were in introducing Sarawak to the whole world.
“Sibu is undeniably one of the more active tourism zones whereby local tourism players namely the municipal council, Sibu Resident Office and some NGOs are working hand-in-hand towards promoting the town’s hospitality and establish a distinctive tourism experience,” he added.
Ong believes VSY 2017 will be a great success and urged the people to contribute significantly to be a good host for foreign and domestic tourists.