KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) recently brought travel agents from Hong Kong Airlines on a familiarisation trip of Kuching (Sept 21-24).
In a press statement from STB, the trip was for travel agents from Hong Kong Airlines to acquaint themselves with the unique attractions and cultures here to be marketed in China, in order to encourage travel and tour partnerships across borders.
During their stay which ends today, they visited Kuching attractions such as a City Tour and River Cruise in Kuching’s city centre, as well as to the quaint Siniawan Night Market and Sarawak Cultural Village just outside of the city, to discover Sarawak’s rich local cultural heritage.
The travel agents also visited the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre to meet the rare and friendly orangutans, and journeyed to Bako National Park for the beauty of wild Bornean flora and fauna.
On another note, STB aims to inspire stronger relations between the local and China tour agencies, to effectively tap into the mainland tourism market.
The tourism sector is estimated to account for 15 per cent of Sarawak’s total GDP, serving as a reminder of the ever-growing potential in tourism.
According to arrival records from January to June this year, the number of Chinese visitors has increased by 11.65 per cent as compared to 2015.
Last year’s arrivals clocked in at 32,916 people while this year shows a total of 17,642 and rising, with high probability of overtaking the record from previous years.
With increasingly frequent promotions and business ventures taking place, the positive growth with the China market is expected to continue.
This year, the Sarawak tourism industry has focused mostly on the Asia market, with ventures and events taking place in Singapore, Hong Kong and China.