Monday, December 9

Kuching-Balikpapan route will increase tourist arrival, says Wan Junaidi

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KUCHING: MASwings’ initiative to offer attractive packages from Balikpapan will greatly to Kuching boost the state’s tourism industry, particularly in the Santubong constituency.

Santubong MP Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this would increase the number of tourists coming to the state, which ultimately would increase the income of the residents in Tanjung Datu and Santubong which had become a tourism hub.

According to him, 50 per cent of residents in Santubong, which is known for its beautiful beaches, were fishermen.

With the arrival of more tourists, he believed that the fishermen would venture into tourism-related business activities to generate additional income.

“At the same time, I would like to recommend that MASwings’ routes are not confined to Sarawak, Sabah and Indonesia but also expanded to the Philippines, West Malaysia and Singapore.

“We certainly welcome MASwing’s initiative to offer packages from Kuching to Balikpapan and Kota Kinabalu to Balikpapan but at the same time, we also want MASwings to become an alternative airline to boost the tourism industry in the state,” Wan Junaidi said at a press conference prior to handing over cost of living allowance to members of Sri Muara Fishermen Association here yesterday.

He said MASwings should expand its operations to become an alternative domestic airline to Sarawak and Sabah instead of confining itself to serving regional routes as this would encourage more tourists to visit the two states.

“If this can be considered then it will not only improve MASwings’ service but it will bring in more tourists and passengers to Sarawak and Sabah,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, it was reported that MASwings is offering an attractive introductory rate of as low as RM312 for return flight from Balikpapan to Kuching starting Jan 15.

MASwings is scheduled to fly to Balikpapan every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.