KUCHING: The state government is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air connectivity and integrated tourism investments with the Chinese tourism industry players at the Chief Minister’s Office here today.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who also oversees state tourism, and Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh are expected to witnessed the inking of the documents between representatives of the state government and the consortium of the four Chinese companies comprising Beijing Glory International Culture Development Co Ltd (BGI), BTG-Jianguo Hotel Management Co Ltd (BTG-Jianguo), China Comfort Travel Group Co Ltd (CCT) and China Express Airlines Co Ltd (CEA).
BTG-Jianguo and CCT are the subsidiaries of Beijing Tourism Group (BTG).
BGI is a diversified investment company engaged in the culture and tourism industry. It continues to explore overseas markets in recent years, and Malaysia has become its key development area.
BTG-Jianguo is a top hotel management company in China. Currently there are over 3,000 hotels under BTG, but BTG-Jianguo ranks as the most famous and competitive national hotel brand among them, with coverage in many countries and regions.
The Beijing Jianguo Hotel is the first joint-venture (JV) hotel in China – a significant milestone in the history and development of the Chinese hotel industry.
On the other hand, CCT is the most famous and valuable travel agency brand under BTG. Currently its tourism products cover 193 countries and regions, with almost three million VIP clients.
The CEA is China’s first regional airlines, providing passenger and cargo transportation services. It currently operates five air bases in China, with a fleet size of 25 aircraft – this will reach 54 next year. CEA has opened more than 50 air routes with 70 destinations. Over the past recent years, it has been actively expanding its international business, with Asean being its main direction of development.
The state government is currently undertaking an active tourism promotion in China – one of its focus markets. In this regard, it has set a strategic direction in marketing Sarawak to China, which also covers Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Wong visited BGI when he was in Beijing in June last year, where he introduced the tourism resources and potential of Sarawak to BGI and encouraged the Chinese tourism players to go to Sarawak for investment and development.
As a mark of goodwill and friendship, BGI sent its delegates to visit Sarawak for the first time in September last year, where they paid a courtesy call on Abang Johari, who was the then-deputy chief minister.
At the meeting, Abang Johari fully supported their intention for injecting investment here and gave good suggestions and advice towards paving the way for the integrated tourism development in Sarawak.