KUCHING: Tour operators and travel agents in Sarawak are encouraged to participate in marketing activities organised by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) as it is now actively organising sales missions to several countries in its effort to attract tourists to the country.
Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said they were currently actively collaborating with international markets and organising sales missions to China, India and other Asian countries, while 29 agents will be participating in ITB Berlin 2018 – the world’s largest tourism trade fair.
“We have briefed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on our Matta promotional activities and marketing activities for this year, which travel agents and tour operators in Sarawak are encouraged to take part in.
“Next year, Malaysia is the preferred destination for Europeans, and Sarawak and Sabah have a lot of nature-based tourism attraction which is very good for tourists from Europe. Of course, we also have the Matta Fair in PWTC (Putra World Trade Centre) and are looking into collaborating with Sabah and Sarawak to suggest that Borneo will be the preferred domestic destination for Malaysia. That will boost tourism arrival for both states,” he said.
He was speaking to the press after leading an entourage from Matta, together with Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, to pay a courtesy call on the chief minister at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
Tan also informed that they were setting up a technology solutions platform, which Sarawak tour operators and travel agents had been invited to join.
The technology will help to create more business opportunities and better business conditions for about 3,200 Matta members, representing about 70 per cent of all travel agents in the country.
Abdul Karim, meanwhile, said Sarawak is targeting to see 5.2 million tourist arrivals this year.
“We are trying to attract as many tourists as possible to our state. We are now trying to identify some of the areas where we need to improve. We have brought up some issues faced by the tourism industry during our courtesy call to the CM,” he said, adding that tourism remains one of the big industries capable of boosting the state’s economy.