Sarawak as next ecotourism hotspot

FROM left: Lin Guangye, Su Qianfan, Chen Rui and Liu Ye give the thumbs up at STB office, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Sarawak remains the state with the biggest potential for ecotourism, thanks to its ecology and biodiversity.

Paleo Diary Eco-Scientist Club general director, Chen Rui said they are looking at Sarawak becoming the next ecotourism hotspot for citizens of China.

“Sarawak is home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world, and it offers unique ecology and biodiversity you don’t see anywhere else.

“Having been to Pahang, Ipoh, Sabah over the past 10 years, we still think that Sarawak has the most potential for ecotourism in Malaysia because of the large forest area and protected wildlife.

“From a biodiversity and ecology standpoint, we think that Sarawak is among the most worthwhile places to conduct in-depth research and development, as most are still protected,” he said during a press conference at Sarawak Tourism Board here Wednesday (Mar 29).

He also stated that following their visit here, they are planning to develop three ecotourism roadmaps categorised by age group, namely children and teenagers, adults and senior citizens.

Meanwhile, Su Qiafan, a botanist from the club said they are currently planning a visit for students from China in July.

“We have collaborated with AirAsia and secured hundreds of flight tickets to bring students from China over to show them the biodiversity and ecology here.

“Depending on our capacity, we are looking to bring a group of 20 visitors to explore natural destinations like Bako National Park, Kubah National Park, Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Gading National Park and Mount Santubong,” he said.

Chen added that he hopes to set up a scientific research centre and an ecotourism promotion centre here to expose Sarawak as a bio-research centre to China.

“We still think that there is a need for deeper development, as Sarawak is still in the developmental stage in its ecotourism.

“There is a lot that we can work together to elevate the ecotourism scene here to raise the profile of Sarawak as a destination for eco-biodiversity,” he added.

The Paleo Diary Eco-Scientist Club, which is made up of China’s top scientists, aims to promote ecotourism to the whole of China, and to bring outstanding biodiversity and ecology in Malaysia to the citizens of China.