KUCHING: Tourist arrivals from China to Sarawak are expected to exceed last year’s record of 38,000.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state’s collaboration with major tourism companies from China would help boost the arrival of Chinese tourists to the state.
“We are fortunate to be able to have collaborations with four major companies involved in tourism sector from China,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the state government and a group of China based companies.
Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the MoU was important and the state government was determined to follow up on it.
He said last year, the state received some 38,000 tourists from China compared to 32,000 in 2015.
On the MoU, he said it was a follow up effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to attract investors from China.
Signing on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture was its permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik while signing on behalf of Beijing Glory International Culture Development Co. Ltd was its president Liu Ning.
BTG-Jianguo Hotel Management Co. Ltd was represented by its chief strategy officer Wang Qiang, China Comfort Travel Group Co. Ltd by its vice president Gao Shuoshan and China Express Airlines Co. Ltd its director and vice president Henry Qiu.
The objective of the MoU signing was to explore areas of cooperation and collaboration for investment in the tourism sector in Sarawak.
The scope of the MoU includes assessment of tourism resources and local culture, standard and conditions of the current tourism facilities, current and future capacities of reception an hospitality; managing of existing hotels; redevelopment, operation and management of national parks; building and development of new tourism facilities; and new air routes development and charter flight services.
Beijing Glory International Culture Development Co. Ltd is an international culture company with a wide range of business scope in culture and tourism industry, including tourism and commercial real estate, museum and museum shops, international cultural exchange, restaurants, F&B culture and online tourism services.
BTG-Jianguo Hotel Management Co. Ltd a subsidiary of Beijing Tourism Group Co. Ltd, is one of the top hotel management groups in China with the most competitive Chinese national hotel brands. It currently manages more than 110 upscale hotels around the world.
China Comfort Travel Group Co. Ltd is another subsidiary company of Beijing Tourism Groups Co. Ltd, and one of the top integrated tourism service platforms in China with leading leisure tourism brand. Its tourism products currently cover 193 countries and regions in the world.
China Express Airlines Co. Ltd is a specialised company on international and domestic airlines, specialising in passenger and freight transportation services. Currently, it operates from five air bases in China with more than 70 destinations in the remote tourist spots.
Abang Johari said the state would also look into the possibility of asking the China Express Airlines Co. Ltd to provide charter flights for Chinese tourists to remote tourist spots in Sarawak.
Also present at the ceremony was Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, State Secretary Tan Sri
Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin and Chinese consul-general in Kuching Fu Jijun.