Malaysia, awaiting the opening of the first Covid-Free destinations, is preparing the ground for a more conscious, sustainable and environmentally conscious tourism, thanks to the fact that its tropical rainforest is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to over 130 million years ago and is one of the great green lungs of the planet.
The first example comes from Sarawak, which adheres to Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) for corporate and tourism events by launching the GDSI Partnership Program – Sarawak Region (GDSI-Sarawak Partner) which includes 30 committee members composed of local government ministries and agencies, universities, associations and industry partners. It is the first international initiative for Malaysia.
The GDS-Index is a globally recognized benchmarking system that will evaluate the best practice sustainability for Sarawak’s corporate and tourist events. The evaluation is based on 71 indicators in 4 key areas which are environmental protection, sensitivity in social progress, attention from DMCs and destination management performance.
The index is aligned with the Sustainable Development objectives of United Nations and those of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Destination Criteria, which is an integral part of Sarawak’s post-Covid-19 tourism development strategy to make the region a leading destination for eco-tourism and sustainability corporate events by 2030.
The first city to be evaluated will be the capital Kuching, following Sibu, Miri and gradually the others.
The ‘patron’ will be of GDSI-Sarawak will be the minister of tourism, arts and culture of Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, which states “for corporate events and tourism, our move towards a sustainable future will drive Sarawak’s visibility and branding around the world. It will give us the power to create strong destination stories and position Sarawak as a potential role model for other second tier destinations to implement similar action. “