BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: A memorandum of cooperation signed between national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) was a first for tourism development between Brunei and Malaysia.
The memorandum, which aims to develop joint promotional activities for the inflow of tourists from Melbourne into Borneo, was signed by RBA Executive General Manager Brett McDougall and the general manager of Sabah Tourism Board, Gordon Yapp. The signing was witnessed by RBA CEO Kram Chand and the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
“STB has worked with RBA before on several joint promotions be it for Australian market or long haul like UK markets, therefore this cooperation will further intensify and cement our working relationship for future mutual benefits,” said Masidi.
As part of the cooperation, the two parties agreed to cost share the promotional activities that will centre around stimulating the increase of Australian tourists into Brunei Darrusalam and Sabah.
Selected Australian travel agents will be appointed to sell special packages within a time frame, which includes a dedicated Return and Services Leagues (RSL) package to attend the Sandakan Day Memorial Service in Sabah this year.
For higher destination awareness on both Brunei and Sabah, the document also agreed to work with Australian online writers and media to produce online content as well as a promotional e-book.
“Brunei is our closest neighbour and was one of our top international arrivals into Sabah last year. Some of our long haul arrivals particularly from Australia traditionally use the Melbourne-Kota Kinabalu route, a connection they have been enjoying for the past few years.
“We are seeing positive results from fresh strategies and new marketing approach, continued awareness in the correct platform combined with the convenient air accessibility by RBA, that arrivals from Australia last year increased by +8.7 compared to 2015. It is only right that we embark on this memorandum right now to further develop this market segment for both countries. On behalf of the State Government, I wish to congratulate both parties on this historical partnership,” added Masidi.