Monday, February 24

STB targets 10 pct increase in tourist arrivals from China

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THANK YOU: Law (right) presenting a memento to Talib. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) expects more tourist arrivals from China as its top agents target a 10 per cent increase for the year.

Chief executive officer of STB, Datuk Rashid Khan said the state recorded 34,888 tourists from China last year while hosting 11,390 visitors up to April this year.

“STB and relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry would like to work together with all of you to exceed this target.

“We have set aside a substantial marketing support budget to realise the number. We will provide incentives to motivate your organisations to aspire to greater heights,” he told a welcoming dinner for top agents from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Kunming and Hong Kong at BCCK here Thursday.

Rashid added that the board would offer joint consumer advertising campaign and other media support for these agents to promote the state’s products.

The board, he said had been “aggressively promoting” the destination to China markets and hence looked forward to facilitating agents there for a mutually beneficial business relationship.

“I am sure that with your assistance, we can be confident that we can even do better.”

He was pleased to announce that the air accessibility to the state had “improved tremendously” and tourists could easily connect to Kuching and other cities in the state from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

The outbound tourist volume from China would continue to grow, he noted, adding that the board hoped Sarawak would be among their choice destinations.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip told the Chinese top agents that the state had a lot more to offer in terms of nature and culture.

“I can assure you that Sarawak is a peaceful, beautiful and friendly place. It is my hope that you all will bring more visitors from China.

“Sarawak is no stranger to visitors from China because our Chinese here speak Hockien, Foochow, Hakka, Teochew and Cantonese and their ancestors came from China,” he said.

Talib received an applause from the floor when he asked: “Have you enjoyed yourselves?”

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is bringing top agents from China on a five-day familiarisation trip until tomorrow (July 31).

Among those present were China’s Consul-General Li Shugang and MAS regional senior vice-president for China, Joshua Law.