LETTER | On Oct 16, the Visit Sarawak Campaign will be launched at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which will be officiated by the Sarawak state minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The unveiling of the “Visit Sarawak Campaign Logo” will be accompanied by a welcoming dance and entertainment show by Kuching-born singer Dayang Nurfaizah and Tuku Kame’.
The latter is a Sarawak band which uses indigenous musical instruments and have toured the US, Canada, Germany, West Asia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines, and performed at the world-renowned Rainforest World Music Festival near Kuching.
Recently I was in Kota Kinabalu and walked from my hotel to Imago shopping mall in the evening. There were many tour buses parked outside the mall and upon entering, I was enthralled by a lively dance troupe performing the “Crazy Sabah Bamboo Dance” in native costume.
Although I travel regularly to Sabah to conduct training for tourism industry personnel and often watched bamboo dances live, I enjoyed the spectacle as much as other onlookers. The mall was thronged with foreign tourists, mainly visitors from China.
Such shows could easily be staged at the departure gates of KLIA, KLIA2 and international airports in Langkawi, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
They require minimal space and time but form a huge and lasting impression for visitors. Many are likely to return for more, particularly those given the opportunity to try out the dance steps at a slower pace.
Showcasing and allowing tourists to participate in local dances is a most effective way for states, particularly Sabah and Sarawak, to promote tourism.
Many passengers often wait for more than an hour in the airport before boarding the aircraft. Instead of letting them feel bored, these captive audiences could be entertained.
Malaysian hospitality is beyond talking and claiming - it must be shown to visitors so that they have a memorable experience, and our last chance to do so is at the departure gates of our international airports.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.