Kuching: The convoy of 147 Harley big bikes taking part in this year's South East Asia Harley Owners Group (SEAHOG) Rally riding 2, 500km from here to Brunei will put the state on the tourism map.
Flagging the convoy off at the Kuching Waterfront yesterday, Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg said he had confidence that the international event would bring about economic benefits to the locals.
"There are journalists assigned to write about their experience and their pieces will be published in portals and magazines.
"Many Harley riders are quite well-to-do and if they share their experience with others, more people will know about Sarawak.
"Those who hear about Sarawak can come as normal tourists rather than riders. It will bring a lot of economic benefits to us," he told the press here.
Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip was among those present.
Abang Johari noted that the Harley convoy would go to interesting places as they rode through Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, the last stop in the state, before crossing the border into Brunei.
"I am glad that Sarawak was chosen by the Harley Davidson group. Riders will not only ride through the state but also explore our culture as well as tasting local food."
When asked if the rally could be turned into an annual event the minister said it was not possible as the Harley Owners Group International had to go by its own schedule and choice of venue.
"But they may come in again, just as the Rolls Royce convoy we had last time. We are now in talks with the organiser and the Rolls Royce convoy will happen again."
The Harley bikers visited Semenggok Wildlife Sanctuary, Kampung Annah Rais Longhouse and Bako National Park on Friday.
They left for Sibu yesterday and are scheduled to reach Brunei on Nov 19. The convoy is expected back in the city on Nov 21 and the Ministry of Tourism would host a farewell dinner at the Sarawak Cultural Village the next day.--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online