KUCHING, 2 February 2022: To cultivate a culture of responsible tourism in Sarawak Divisional Offices, the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) recently organised a virtual workshop for their Divisional Tourism Task Group (DTTG).

The workshop, entitled Design Thinking for Responsible Tourism, was managed by the Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence (SCOPE) and gathered 20 participants from DTTGs in Kuching and Southern Sarawak region.

Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Tourism Board in her welcoming remarks during the workshop, said Sarawak Tourism Board is determined to make Responsible Tourism an integral part of all tourism practices and to cultivate a forward-thinking culture to be a step ahead.

“Sarawak is blessed with bountiful green treasures waiting to be explored, and it is indeed our duty to continue to protect and conserve its diverse Sarawak’s Post Covid Development Strategy 2030 ecosystem, so we can preserve it for future generations to come,” Sharzede said.

“This workshop will not only empower us to face future concerns but also help to embrace an experimental attitude so we are able to quickly identify what is needed to develop effective strategies and innovations that will benefit the entire ecosystem,” she added.

The workshop, helmed by an advisor for Center for Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS), Dr Valdew Singh, is designed to embed Responsible Tourism as a collective effort and shared responsibility among the various key stakeholders, such as government ministries & agencies, tourism-related companies and the local communities in transforming Sarawak into an eco-tourism destination.

“By embracing useful and viable design-thinking methods to address problems in tourism practices with a user-centric mindset, it will help build an environment that will help accelerate Sarawak to become a preferred leading eco-tourism destination,” he said.

At the end of the workshop, the participants are divided into groups to complete and present a project on exploring and identifying problems of tourism products in their division, define the “how we might help” solutions and present their proposal in a sharing session. 

STB’s Director of Product & Corporate Relations (PCR) Division, Maurice Balang said from the deliverables by the participants STB is looking forward to future collaborations with the DTTG members to pursue their RT initiatives in their respective divisions.

“With such collaborations, we hope that all divisional offices in Sarawak are fully on-board with STB’s RT agenda, which is in alignment with the state’s Post-Covid Development Strategy 2030.

One of the workshop participants, Louis Andria Barieng from Samarahan Resident Office, said he appreciates STB’s collective effort in placing sustainability value at its forefront.

“The workshop has enabled my team to identify, define and resolve challenges in the Responsible Tourism space and allow us to consider the concerns from the perspective of others, which facilitates a better understanding of Responsible Tourism. It has also taught us how to apply the design thinking concept finding solutions to overcome those challenges with sustainability as a foundation,” he said.

The next Design Thinking for Responsible Tourism workshops will also be organised for the DTTGs in Miri (northern region) and Sibu (central region), respectively. 

For more information on Sarawak visit: www.sarawaktourism.com