SINGAPORE: Travel Malaysia Fair (TMF) 2016 held at Changi Expo and Convention Centre here closed its curtain late Sunday evening, leaving Sarawak travel operators, hoteliers and product suppliers hopeful of more tourists being brought into the state from Singapore.
“It was a good outing with promising returns and we are glad our partners are looking for better days ahead,” said Sarawak Tourism Board’s (STB) marketing manager Gustino Basuan in a press statement yesterday.
A total of 21 Sarawak agents, hoteliers and product and homestay owners attended the three-day fair selling Sarawak product experience packages to Singaporeans.
STB’s participation in the fair included the launch of the first leg of the Sarawak marketing campaign by Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, and the Board’s chief executive officer Datu Ik Pahon on behalf of Tourism Minister Datu Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg on Friday.
At the TMF 2016, STB featured the launch of the public bus wrap advertisement on SBS transit buses, three stage shows held daily to highlight Sarawak cultural presentation, Sarawak artisans and crafters demonstrating traditional weaving, basketry, bead-making, and bringing their products for sale to Singaporeans.
The fair also featured a daily Sarawak destination product workshop while business-to-business sessions were conducted on Friday afternoon.
Reaping benefits from the campaign, managing director of Amogha Tours and Travel, Capt (Rtd) Narayanan Kanan said the three-day outing had been fruitful for him.
“The business session has resulted in the confirmation of four groups of 60 tourists from Singapore,” he said, looking forward to seven to 10 promising deals secured with new found partners at the meeting.
Though new in the market place, Narayanan hopes to get in touch with fellow Indian agents based in Singapore, and be a partner in their business that taps into Singapore as a hub bringing tourists from India to Singapore and extension of their packages to Sarawak.
He said the local Singapore Indian market segment had not been exploited, so he hoped to penetrate the lucrative market offering niche Sarawak product experiences.
Hanna Choo of CPH Travel Agencies meanwhile was excited to have secured bookings for special interest packages during the weekend outing.
“I am looking at student travel,” she said, revealing that there were special requests from schools to include sports and games activities with local schools in Sarawak in their package.
“It’s very promising and I’m hoping to secure our popular fishing packages to add to the list of confirmed packages arising from this outing.”
Managing director of Kuching Holidays, Sam Tan closed the campaign with two confirmed groups coming to Sarawak, and was hopeful of closing another three within the next few weeks.
As part of its continued marketing campaign, the Board will organise a 10-day consumer show at Orchard Road starting May 13 by holding Sarawak cultural performances, mini exhibitions, demonstrations of handicraft and traditional fun and games for Singaporeans to share Sarawak experiences.
The ninth edition of the Malaysia Travel Fair is organised by Express and Excursion Bus Association of Singapore and supported by the Singapore Office of Tourism Malaysia.