Gira (front fourth left) is flanked by Sibu Municipal Council deputy chairman Bujang Abdul Majid (right) and BDCF organising committee chairman councillor Augustine Merikan.
SIBU (July 19): Local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been urged to set up a mini cultural village showcasing Dayak culture, which could become a new tourism product here.
Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang said they could submit their proposal on the matter to the state government for consideration.
“Other races like the Chinese already have their tourism products in Sibu, but there is none for us the Dayaks.
“The mini cultural village, if it materialises, will be a place or centre for us to display the culture of the Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu communities, which can then be used as a tourism product here,” he said when officiating at the Borneo Dayak Cultural Festival (BDCF) in conjunction with the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) here last night.
Gira opined the availability of such an attraction would entice airline operators to run direct international flights to Sibu.
“Airline operators will not be so keen to run direct routes to Sibu if it lacks something to offer to attract tourists to this town,” he said.
According to him, once Sibu has enough tourism products it would open up the sector through international flights.
He said events such as Citrawarna in Kuching, Sibu International Dance Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, and Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri are draws for tourists.
Gira added he is confident more tourists will come to Sarawak when Brunei reopens its borders next month.
“A total of 530,000 tourists have been recorded entering Sarawak from January to June and the number is expected to increase to 1.2 million tourists when Brunei opens its border next month,” he added.
On BCF, Gira said it could be used as a platform to preserve the multi-ethnic culture and heritage of Sarawak.
“Make this BCF for us to maintain and defend our customs, culture, and heritage so that it can be cherished by the younger generation,” he added.