KUCHING, 22 November 2021: The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) virtual experiences organised by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) won the accolade ‘One to Watch’ by WTM Responsible Tourism Awards 2021 hosted in London earlier this month.

Open to four regions (Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of the World), the awards recognise excellence in responsible tourism and selected RWMF and BJF in the Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid category.

Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor said: “We are heartened to be acknowledged by WTM Responsible Tourism as they champion the very best work in responsible tourism across the globe.”

“Both RWMF and BJF are highly-anticipated annual events attended by Malaysians and international travellers. With the pandemic halting almost all events around the world, STB decided to pivot to a virtual platform so we could recreate the shows for those who are missing the iconic annual events.”

These first-of-their-kind events in the region were streamed live on multiple online platforms and on TV channels, providing a platform for local performers to showcase their culture and heritage.

STB also partnered with Shopee and GrabFood to provide retailers with an opportunity to market and sell authentic Sarawakian food and tourism products such as handicrafts and souvenirs to local audiences. Viewers were able to watch the performances, interviews and flashbacks and engage in conversation with other online users throughout the 90-minute event as well as watch workshops from previous years from the virtual Bidayuh, Iban, Chinese and Malay houses at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Upon the completion of the shows, a total of 402,865 people from 79 countries had tuned in for the RWMF, and 244,637 from 43 different countries had tuned in for BJF. Leveraging this global audience to promote responsible tourism, STB launched two responsible tourism videos during the virtual experience to educate viewers on the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism.

“Responsible tourism has been a longstanding effort by STB to ensure that Sarawak’s tourism industry remains relevant, viable, and sustainable. We will continue spearheading responsible tourism initiatives in 2022 and beyond, as we believe it will not only contribute to the wellbeing of our local communities and environment but also create meaningful experiences for travellers,” Puan Sharzede concluded.

About Sarawak Tourism Board

Sarawak Tourism Board is the key promoter for Sarawak. STB is a winner of the Asia Pacific Excellence Awards 2016 by the Asia-Pacific Association of Communications Directors (APACD) and has received the ASEAN PR Excellence Award 2015 Gold Award. The Rainforest World Music Festival is a five-time Top 25 Best International Festivals recognised by Songlines World Music Magazine (2011 – 2015) and won the Golden City Gate 2019 five-star award for the Rainforest World Music Festival’s (RWMF) promotional video.

For more information visit https://sarawaktourism.com/

For more information on the festivals, visit rwmf.net and jazzborneo.com

(Source: Sarawak Tourism Board).