Kudos to Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) for having certified 1,000 Grab drivers for e-learning under their programme to groom as ‘Sarawak tourism ambassadors’. I hoped that all e-hailing drivers concerned would be an asset to us after being equipped with the knowledge to be shared with our future visitors once the borders are open. Similarly, for our ‘Sarawak Ambassadors Programme’ to succeed, we also need solid support from all the industry and the tourism players.
We thank Grab Malaysia who had collaborated with STB to ensure the success of the ‘Sarawak Ambassadors Programme which is targeting the first 1,000 out of 5,000 e-hailing drivers based in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. The programme for Cohort 2 commenced immediately after STB had attained the first 1,000 drivers.
The programme is available in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin with the modules cover key information about Sarawak, its culture and heritage as well as the tourist destinations in all regions – namely the state’s southern, central and northern zones. The participating e-hailing drivers would have access to Grab Malaysia’s ‘Axonify’ – its e-learning platform set up under Grab Academy.
The facilitator of the modules is Akademi Hospitaliti & Pelancongan Saujana Sdn Bhd (SATT College) covering the southern, central and the northern regions of Sarawak.
At the same time, I have called on all of our tourism players and partners to come forward together as ‘one big tourism family’ in embracing the new programmes and initiatives introduced amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic can be seen as a perfect opportunity for industry players to rethink tourism in Sarawak. Thus, I am confident that the measures put in place by our government would shape the ‘tourism of tomorrow’ and also Sarawak.
This is equally important because as custodians of Sarawak tourism, we are continuously strategising and re-strategising to prepare and ensure comprehensive tourism recovery plans. We are also doing all there is to improve and rebuild destinations, to encourage innovation, and re-think the tourism sector, while facing challenges during this pandemic.
I also expressed hope that as Sarawak would move to this ‘recovery’ phase, businesses would be up and running – ‘slowly but surely'. We must continue to believe that with every challenge and struggle that the people were currently facing, there was ‘always light at the end of the tunnel’. At the ministry, we have taken several measures to implement stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) and the new norms in travelling are being put in place. Thus, we are also collaborating with industry players to devise plans to help sustain tourism businesses in Sarawak.