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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More needs to be done for tourism

STF lists poor public transportation, lack of direct flights among tourists’ grouses in Sarawak

Poor public transportation services, especially taxi service, are among the main grouses of foreign tourists arriving in Sarawak for a holiday.

Wee Hong Seng, president of the Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF), a body representing private sector key players in the state’s tourism industry, said based on initial feedback to its ‘We Care’ questionnaires, the respondents noted the need to use metered taxis, a clear fare for each destination, and to upgrade taxi drivers’ knowledge on the state’s tourism products.

“Foreign tourists want at least when boarding the taxis here, the drivers inform them about the tourist spots here and not the silent treatment,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

Wee said there was also the need to improve knowledge on tourism products among the tourist guides in Sarawak, so that the visitors would have a better understanding of what the state could offer.

“There were also comments about our public bus service,” he said, adding that this would improve as the federal government was expected to address the matter urgently in view of the rising oil price.

He said from the feedback, tourists to Sarawak also wanted more direct international flights to the state as most preferred the comfort of flying to certain destinations in Sarawak without changing aircraft.

“To address the problem, we are working out something with the airlines which operate direct flights to certain international destinations,” he said.

Wee said apart from the ‘We Care’ questionnaires, STF also monitored the comments, criticisms and complaints about the state’s tourism industry through its own online feedback system and the newspapers. The feedback from the questionnaires is channelled to the state’s tourism authorities to enable them to take action in an effort to enhance the state’s tourism industry.

— Bernama

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