Monday, July 23, 2007

Turn our foods into tourist attractions

Besides cultural diversity and natural beauty, Borneo has a lot more attractions to offer to our dear tourists, one of which is our ethnic foods.

I strongly believe, with innovative publicity, our foods have immense potentials to be turned into excellent tourist selling points.

Years back when I was in Melbourne, Australia as a student, I still remember Aussies talking a lot about Penang - in fact much more than any other places in Malaysia.

Subsequently, I found out that the formula to Penang's success was, partly, its well-received hawker foods. The state government there extensively promoted their sellable foods like Penang char kueh teow, Penang laksa, etc.

The astounding success of the hawker food promotion contributed to the flourishing tourism business in Penang which should be exemplary for us to learn from.

The above picture (taken in front of Premier Hotel, Sibu )shows another group of Dutch tourists in Sibu on July 22 for a one-night transit. Led by Miss Charlotte, these ecotourists, comprising of 22 in total, flew in to Borneo for a stretch of 23 days touring the island.

Our culture and nature have lured them to take holiday here for personal experience. We should take pride of our unique assets. But I hope one day our ethnic foods would also turn into a selling point and become part of our tourists' itinerary.

Let's all work for it.

Andyson Sulang, the tour guide, with Charlotte (on the right) before they left for Bintulu.

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