Major tourism player backs minister’s call to bring back Rajang River cruise

KUCHING: A prominent tourism player in the state’s central region is supportive of the idea by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah to operate a cruise along Rajang River.

Wishing to remain anonymous, the Sibu-based entrepreneur said tourism development ‘is all about utilising the resources surrounding you’, to draw in more tourists to the state.

The Rajang River, which is located in northwest of Borneo, flows approximately 563km into Kapit and eventually to the South China Sea making it the longest river in Malaysia.

It passes through towns namely Kanowit, Song, Kapit, Bintangor and Sarikei as well as villages and longhouses, not to mention the flora and fauna along the way.

According to the local tour provider, the Rajang River is a hidden paradise that offers not just nature but also culture and adventure.

Tourists will get to experience the culture and lifestyle of the various tribes in villages and longhouses along the Rajang River. We can also do some adventure trips in the rainforest along the river, he said when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.

He was prompted for comments on the recent remark by Abdul Karim, who wished to see tourism players coming up with proposals to operate Rajang River cruise.

The minister expressed confidence that the Rajang River cruise would become a good tourism product, given the many longhouses dotting along Rajang River.

The tour operator pointed out that the cruise tours could come in many types one-hour cruise, sunset cruise, half-day cruise, full-day cruise, two-day, one-night (2D1N) cruise as well as longer journeys.

Citing Kapit as an example, he said tourists could experience the local lifestyle and enjoy nature by having a picnic lunch near the stream, besides touring Fort Sylvia and Teresang Market.

To a question, he said inconsistent tourist arrivals should not be an issue when it comes to developing state’s tourism.

He was quick to add that competition from outside Sibu such as cruises from Kuching as well as Peninsular Malaysia and Southeast Asia might also be a factor.

As such, he hoped that the ministry and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) would put in more effort to create and heighten awareness among the locals and foreigners in order to sustain the potential cruise business in Sibu.

Rajang River in Borneo has high potential to run among the most popular river cruises in Southeast Asia and Asia, he said.

Source: Sarawak Government