MIRI: Outdated tourism brochures and posters used to promote Sarawak locally and internationally are giving the impression that the state is backward and hostile, Sarawak Tourism Board director for northern region Lee Kim Shin said.
The state government has now directed its tourism promotion authorities to replace the brochures with ones that reflect the true image of the state as a vibrant, beautiful and mysterious destination.
Lee said the authorities have instructed the board to replace seven types of brochures being circulated locally and abroad.
“The board has been told to change all these brochures because they are giving a wrong impression about Sarawak.
“These brochures prominently feature natives with spears and weapons surrounded by monkeys and jungles, and they have given a very negative and wrong image to tourists and also tour guides,” Lee told a press conference here.
“I was in China recently for a tourism promotion tour and was told by some Chinese tour guides that they heard headhunting still happens in Sarawak.
“They claimed that even Malaysian tour guides based in peninsular Malaysia had promoted Sarawak as a place for headhunting. This can frighten foreigners and can be very damaging,” he said.
Lee, who is also chairman of the state private-public tourism promotion committee, said all future brochures and advertisement materials used to market Sarawak would portray the correct situation of the state.
“At the same time, these brochures would also feature natural attractions on land and sea that Sarawak is still famous for, like the Mulu National Park world heritage site, the prehistoric Niah caves, diving spots, marine parks and other exciting interior destinations,” he said.
On a related matter, Lee said the state government had written to the top management of Malaysia Airlines to consider starting direct flights from Perth and Tokyo to Miri.
“Miri already has an international-standard airport following the upgrading and restructuring recently. It is big enough to land the largest long-haul aircraft,” he added.
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