ASSISTANT Minister of Tourism Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip yesterday disclosed that the Bako Bay area covers three national parks which are Kuching Wetlands, Santubong and Bako and it also encompasses the resorts at the Damai Peninsula. Earlier, Demak Laut State Assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, who wanted to know the short-term and long-term plans of the Ministry to exploit the eco-tourism potential in the Bako Bay area.
"In the effort to further enhance tourism visitation and experience, my Ministry is planning to implement the following short-term and long-term plans to of the area. "Among the short-term plans are crocodile watching incorporating the 3M approaches (Mengenal, Memahami dan Memulihara Buaya). This productwas introduced by Sarawak Forestry Corporation and was launched on 31 March 2012 at Kampung Bako and it is ready for tourism stakeholders to package and market it.
"In addition, boat cruising in the Bako Bay highlighting wildlife watch such as dolphins, crocodile, fireflies and proboscis monkeys," explained Talib to Demak Laut State Assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni during the morning session of State Legislative Assembly.
In addition, Talib said that the Bako Bay has been identified as part of the East-Asian-Australian Flyway for migratory shore birds (including Chinese egret). He said the proposal has been submitted to the government to construct obser-vatory towers and hides facilities for bird enthusiasts. On the homestay programme, Talib said that the Santubong Homestay has been acclaimed to be popular with visitors. He said the Ministry is also encouraging more homestay par-ticipations from the villagers in the area.
In the meantime, on the Bako National Park, Talib said that the tourism-related facilities in the park such as accomodation, information centre, public toilets and canteen have been upgraded to cater for the needs of tourists. As the area posseses strong tourism product, Talib said that his Ministry together with Sarawak Tourism Board is committed to introducing new packages through familiarisation trips for agents.
On the long-term plans, Talib said that the Sarawak Forestry Corporation is proposing for the alienation of a piece of communal forest adjacent to the park as an extension to Bako National Park with an area of 870 ha to further protect the endemic proboscis monkeys and other wildlife.
"My Ministry is proposing some upgrading facilities such as boat landing facilities, obsevatory towers, jungle trails to meet the increasing demand from the industry," he said.
Sarawak Tribune 21.5.12