Sunday, 8 April 2012

Grandet Pesta Benak next year-Jabu

SPECIAL GIFT: Jabu receives a surfboard from Patrick Audoy (second right) and Fabrice Colas while Dawos (second left) and Harden (left) look on.
SRI AMAN: Pesta Benak will be held to coincide with the school holidays next year, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu said when officiating at the opening of the festival’s 12th edition yesterday.
“This would attract not only more local visitors but also those from the rest of the country who have always made Sarawak their holiday destination especially during school holidays,” he said.
The tidal bore is a natural tourism product, according to Jabu, which could be further exploited by the Tourism Ministry in order to attract more visitors to the town.
He urged the federal government, in particular the Tourism Ministry, to continue giving its support to the festival as it could generate lucrative income for the local business community.
Jabu added that he would inform the Sarawak Tourism Ministry to work together with its counterpart at the federal level.
“This will allow the festival to grow and also to develop the tourism industry in Sri Aman.”
Jabu thanked international surfers who had returned for the event this year.
“They have done a great job in putting the festival on the world map –to experience surfing at the Batang Lupar.”
He hoped the participants would share their experience with fellow surfers when they returned home.
“They will become good ambassadors to promote Sri Aman.”
Jabu was later presented with a surf board by two French surfers – Fabrice Colas and Patrick Audoy.
The surf board has travelled the world over – riding the tidal waves in England, Brazil and Sumatra to name a few.
“It will be a memorabilia to be kept by the organiser of Pesta Benak,” Jabu said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk James Dawos urged the private sector, especially the local business community, to view the festival as an income generator.
He also called on them to invest in the hospitality industry by providing food and beverage, among other things.
“This tidal bore festival is one of contributors to tourism industry in the country.”
Assistant Minister of Rural Development, who is also Simanggang assemblyman, Datuk Francis Harden, meanwhile, suggested that the Sri Aman Waterfront be expanded.
“With a bigger venue, more people would be able to congregate at the waterfront to watch activities taking place in the river.”
Source: The Borneo Post
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