to do its bit
The Borneo Post - Monday, 14 July 2003
Ministry ties up with airline to promote Rainforest Music Festival
SANTUBONG: Malaysia Airlines
(MAS) will become a new partner of Sarawak's Tourism Ministry in promoting next
year's annual Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), the region's premier world
Minister of Tourism Dato Sri
Abang Johari Tun Openg said his ministry would collaborate with MAS as the
airline had better accessibility to most international destinations around the
"We will work harder to
bring in more people to the festival next year and it would be better to do so
with MAS," he told a media conference at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)
Sarawak Tourism Board (STB)
and SCV are hosting three-day music festival (July 11 to 13) with the support of
Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and
Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, while MAS is the official airline.
MAS regional manager for
Sarawak and West Kalimantan Mohamed Suffian Abdul Malik said the airline hoped
to work out packages that would include hotel accommodation for visitors who
wished to participate in next year's RWMF.
Being the official airline
this year, he said MAS sponsored the flights of several groups of performers
while the rest came in with discounted air fares.
"We will be ready next
year with more organised packages for those interested to witness the
festival," he added.
On the festival's turn-out,
The first night of RWMF
pulled a crowd of about 4,000, while the second night saw some 7,000 people,
which was already about 1,000 more than that for last year's audience for three
days, before taking into account the turnout for the final night, he said.
"We already have more
than 10,000 visitors to the festival in just two days of the event and we are
expecting thousands more tonight (Sunday)," he said, adding that the
response was overwhelming.
Johari attributed the good
turnout to the aggressive promotion drive, additional and side events namely the
Sarawak Borneo International
Ethnic Music Conference (July
S-9) and Food and Fruits Fiesta (July 1113) and improvement made on the
festival's venue itself.
Quoting an example, he said
for the first time this year, RWMF performers held roadshows in Sibu and Miri
prior to the festival at SCV.
"These had brought the
spirit of the festival to other parts of Sarawak and encouraged the locals there
to come here," he said.
He added that a transport
company had also initiated shuttle services between the city and SCV which
improved the accessibility to the festival's venue for both locals and visitors.
The new venue for the main
stage, set at the foot of Gunung Santubong
He hoped the event had
cultivated a sense of appreciation for culture, nature and environment among
visitors and contributed towards global conservation and development of rare and
endangered ethnic music and musical instruments.
Commending good community
participation, RWMF organising chairman Mohd Tuah Jais thanked some 300
volunteers who had helped out in the festival and the media for their wide
coverage on the event.