SIBU: The growing number of international events happening in Sarawak necessitated more flights for tourism development, says Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip.
“The view of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem with respect to more flights is appropriate and timely.
“Sarawak is getting more international exposure from events such as Asean Film Festival, World Rainforest Festival, Benak Festival and Borneo Kite Festival.
“As a result, we are better known to the world. Our clean and green environment, flora and fauna, diverse culture, and hospitability are something we can proudly showcase to tourists.
“Tourists want to come. Even from this brief description we can see the need for more flights,” Talib, who is Jepak assemblyman, told The Borneo Post.
He said this when asked for his view on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s call for measures to be taken to increase the number of direct flights to Sarawak.
Talib opined that Sarawak must be allowed to develop its tourism industry that would be beneficial to the state and the country.
“The need for more flights has been left unresolved for far too long. To say it mildly, this is unsatisfactory.
“This calls for our own airlines to relook at their business operations to cater for the emerging needs. They must be given the opportunity to benefit from the new flight increases or demand,” he said.
“At the same time, the open sky policy must be pursued without hindrance,” he said, adding that this twin-pronged approach must be adopted.
When Bintulu started its massive development, the flight problems were not dealt with properly, he recalled.
“Those who worked in Bintulu or had business there knew the problem – inadequate flights. We simply do not want a repeat.
“Resolving this problem is good for Sarawak tourism industry, good for Sarawak economy, and good for the whole country,” Talib said.