Tourism packages explore Tutong’s ethnic diversity

|     James Kon     |

THE Tutong District Tourism Promotion and Coordination Body yesterday launched its very first ethnic cultural and art packages for tourists and visitors, in an effort to tap into the rich and unique cultures of the diverse ethnic groups in the Tutong District.

The launching of the packages was officiated by Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Penghulu of Mukim Tanjong Maya Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Wahab bin Apong as the guest of honour.

The new ethnic cultural and arts packages, which include demonstrations and cultural shows, comprises four options: Dusun, Kedayan, Iban and Chinese.

Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Wahab said, “The effort to introduce the beauty and the uniqueness of the arts and culture in the Tutong District needs to be intensified. This is not only to create interesting tourism products, but most importantly to unite the communities of diverse ethnicity and religions on one platform of tourism. This is important, as the basis to produce tourism products are based on communities that are sustainable and progressive.”

He also urged the involvement of village consultative councils, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and youth in the marketing and sale of local products for tourists.

Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Penghulu of Mukim Tanjong Maya Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Wahab bin Apong takes a closer look at a traditional cooking demonstration. – JAMES KON

Chief Executive Officer of the Tutong District Tourism Promotion and Coordination Body Muhammad Amir bin Haji Umarali, touched on the number of tourists who visited the Tutong District in the last three years.

Citing statistics compiled by the Tutong District Tourism Promotion and Coordination Body, he noted that 552 people visited the Tutong District in 2016, with the number decreasing by as much as 35 per cent to 345 in 2017. In 2018, the number of visitors jumped to a record high of 853 people.

The figures showed that 65 per cent of the tourists were local, while the remainder came from the ASEAN region, Europe and Asia. There were also educational visits from schoolchildren, as well as students from higher educational institution

He added, “The Cultural Village of Sungai Basong Recreational Park is a place which is frequently visited by tourists. This is because the place offers activities filled with art and culture of the ethnic groups and community of the Tutong District. In addition, the ethnic model houses provide an interesting experience for visitors and tourists.”

Other attractions include the ‘One Village, One Product’ (1K1P) gallery at the Tutong District Office, the Tasbee Meliponiculture Farm in Kampong Sungai Kelugos, the virgin coconut oil (VCO) enterprise of Kampong Tanjong Maya and the chocolate-making ventures of Kampong Sengkarai.

The ethnic cultural and art packages for tourists and visitors, said Muhammad Amir, “are added value to the available ones in the Tutong Destination package. These packages are hoped to further diversify the tours to Tutong, with the concept of arts and culture.”

Following the launch, the guest of honour and guests toured a display of cultural performances and traditional cuisine from the ethnic Dusun, Kedayan, Iban and Chinese at the 1K1P gallery at the Tutong District Office.

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Umarali bin Esung and Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrin bin Haji Mohd Hussain were also present.