KUCHING: An inbound consortium has been formed by 15 inbound travel agents in Kuching in an effort to attract 5,000 domestic tourists to the state by July.
According to Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter chairman Matthew Chen, the group was formed as a collaboration with Sarawak Toursim Board (STB) to promote the state through ‘Go Sarawak’ packages at the Kuala Lumpur Matta fair, to be held on March 11 to 13.
“The ‘Go Sarawak’ packages aim to increase domestic inbound tourist arrivals from West Malaysia and Singapore.
“For the first phase, we are going to focus on Kuching city’s tour packages and later we will extend it to other cities like Miri and Sibu in the second half of the year,” he said during a press conference at Matta Sarawak headquarters yesterday.
“In addition to the Matta Fair in Kuala Lumpur, we will also promote Sarawak at a travel fair in Johor and at the ‘National Inbound Tourist Fair’ organised by Tourism Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on May 21 to 23,” he said.
He added that Matta Sarawak and STB will also head to Penang and Singapore to promote the state.
Besides that, Chen said that Matta Sarawak is also organising an in-house travel fair and sale at participating travel agencies on March 11 to 13.
“This in-house Matta Fair is supported by Malaysian Airlines and Firefly and the public is invited to contact or visit their favourite travel agents to find out more on the promotions,” he said.
According to STB marketing director Benedict Jimbau who was also at the press conference, domestic tourist arrivals in 2010 saw an 18 per cent increase as compared to 2009.
“In 2010, the state recorded 1.372 million in domestic tourist arrival compared to 1.163 million in 2009.
“Hopefully, this year we can see an increase again with the active participation in promoting Sarawak by those in the private sector,” he remarked.
Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit is expected to launch the ‘Go Sarawak’ packages at the STB booth on March 11 at Matta Fair Kuala Lumpur.
Also present at the press conference were Matta Sarawak commitee members Adam Lim, Nelson Chai, Chris Kon, Janice Lee and Chia Jong Chin.