KUCHING, 1 May 2024: The Pacific Asia Travel Association expands its Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme with Sarawak, Malaysia, hosting the four-day training sessions in Sarawak, Malaysia, from 20 to 25 May. 

The TDR Programme, launched in 2021, assists destinations in the region to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and proactively prepare for future challenges. 

“Tourism holds immense significance for Malaysia, particularly for culturally and environmentally diverse destinations like Sarawak. Adherence to sustainable tourism practices is no longer enough to safeguard this heritage for future generations and sustainably nurture tourism’s growth and benefits within the region,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. 

“Our destinations must be robust to withstand crises and adapt to navigate evolving landscapes seamlessly. We are delighted that Sarawak has joined us on this journey towards building resilience.”

While tourism revenue and the number of International Visitor Arrivals have traditionally been considered primary indicators of tourism success, the industry must adopt a more holistic approach and mindset. Factors such as the quality of visitor experience, length of stay, daily expenditure, residents’ well-being, and the conservation of natural and cultural assets hold far greater significance as signs of progress and prosperity for destinations.

According to Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor: “As partners in progress, the Sarawak Tourism Board is proud to join hands with PATA in the Tourism Destination Resilience Programme to equip our stakeholders with the tools necessary to anticipate, respond to, and recover from various challenges. From crisis management and risk assessment to sustainable tourism practices and community engagement, these capacity-building efforts will empower individuals and organisations across Sarawak to contribute effectively to our collective resilience.

Sharzede adds: “By investing in the development of our human capital, we not only enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of Sarawak’s tourism industry but also foster a culture of collaboration and resilience that will endure for years to come. Together with PATA, we are excited to embark on this transformative journey towards a more resilient and prosperous future for Sarawak.”

Sarawak is a popular Southeast Asian destination, welcoming nearly 4 million domestic, regional and international visitors in 2023. Tourists are attracted by its unique natural beauty, vibrant culture and numerous adventure activities, including jungle trekking and wildlife watching. Tourism has long been a significant economic driver for Sarawak, significantly impacting the state’s economy and society. Sarawak has been deeply committed to implementing sustainable policies and practices to mitigate tourism’s negative impacts on the environment and local communities. 

However, sustainability alone is not sufficient. Since the onset of the pandemic, PATA has been advocating that for true sustainability to be achieved, destinations must first build resilience. Efforts towards heritage protection, biodiversity conservation or poverty alleviation risk being undermined in the face of international economic or health crises, as exemplified by Covid-19. Climate change and its related consequences also pose significant risks to all destinations, predominantly coastal and island territories such as Sarawak.

In Sarawak, the four-day training will take place in Kuching from 20 to 25 May, targeting tourism government officials and decision-makers during the first two days of training and tourism SMEs on the last two days. 

Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) capacity-building programmes have been hosted by several destinations since 2021. For more details, visit https://src.pata.org/

TDR Training of Trainers for National Tourism Organisations: December 2021 – Manila, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Bandung, Indonesia.

TDR Training Destination Management Organisations: February-April 2022 – Siquijor, the Philippines; Hoi An, Vietnam; Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Bogor, Indonesia.

TDR Finance and Digital Skills Training for Tourism SMEs: July-September 2023 – Laguna, the Philippines; Hoi An, Vietnam; Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
For more information on the destination Sarawak, visit www.sarawaktourism.com


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