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Goodbye Encik Johanif Director of Tourism Malaysia Sarawak

Encik Johanif receiving gift.


  The board of director for Tourism Malaysia Sarawak Encik Johanif bin Mohammad Ali will be leaving for New York on the 25th January 2013. He has been serving the Tourism Malaysia Sarawak since year 2008 until 2012.


  In his statement during his speech, his main goal was not only to promote Sarawak alone but he is looking at new business prospect in New York. He did mention the percentage of international tourists coming over to Sarawak was more. His new aim in New York was also to introduce Sarawak more to the people in New York besides his other tasks to promote Malaysia as a whole.


  One of his notable successes as the State Director, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Sarawak Office, was organizing the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) board of directors’ conference in year 2009. The event was    attended by a total of 100 delegates from all different nations in Asia region. The objective for PATA which was established in the early 1950’s served its purposed to promote mostly Asian region. 


Encik Johanif also sat on the Sarawak Convention Bureau as the Board of directors for four years.


  He even urged the Sarawak government to make full use of our treasures and natural resources in Sarawak to turn it into a potential marketing tool to attract more tourists.


  “With its natural products, we must now find a way to market them the right way. The industry players must have the ability to modify our local products to become major tourist products of choice,” he commented.


  He mentioned that Sarawak can learn a thing or two by observing Melaka. Melaka does not have a much resources to begin with but they somehow managed to do it and turn it into tourists’ attractions by being creative.


“Despite not having many natural resources that could be turned into local tourist attractions, Melaka is very resourceful. They are able to create attractive packages for their tourism.”


 Johanif hoped that the tour operators in Sarawak do not rely too much on the government to do the job. Instead, they need to be creative in marketing and promoting their products and services.


 “They must be able to constantly think of new products that could attract more tourists to the state and country. Creativity is one way that this industry could develop further,” he added.


  He added the reason why Sarawak especially, tends to get very low visitors from New York was due to air connectivity.


  “Without it, it is difficult for our tourism industry. For example, the American market is much matured; meaning price plays an important role. Tourists will look for the best and most attractive ones.”


  “We stress on product uniqueness. For Sarawak, the products are its culture, nature and adventure,” said Johanif.


   To overcome the air connectivity issue, Tourism Malaysia has developed a smart partnership with international airlines.


   Johanif’s successor will be Sallahudin Mohd Ariffin and will be taking his position as the Tourism Malaysia Sarawak Director in February 2013.


   Those who attended his farewell party held at Damai on the 28th December 2012 were Dato’ James Dawos, Sarawak Cruise River, The Star, Savvy Media and Borneo Island Big Bikers Club. There were a total number of 50 people who attended his farewell party.


   Light refreshments consist of Nasi Briyani, Rendang Beef, Bee Hoon, assorted cupcakes and cookies.


Mouth watery Nasi Briyani, Noodles and Rendang

  Simple activities such as karaoke from both emcees made his farewell party even livelier and simple quizzes with mystery prizes were given away to the crowds.


  Mr Johanif, you have our best wishes. Do the best and have a great pleasant journey all the way in New York. We also hoped to see you coming back to Kuching once in a while for a visit whenever you have the chance.



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