KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports is confident of attracting more tourists and investors from China to Sarawak next year, following a recent working visit to Chengdu, China where various collaborations were discussed with Chinese counterparts.
Among the meetings held by the state delegation led by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, was a courtesy call on China Express Air vice president Henry Ke Qiu.
Abdul Karim in a statement issued by his ministry said the meeting ended with promising results with the possible joint collaborations between the Sarawak government and China Express Air before the end of the year.
“The working visit to Chengdu, China is part of the Sarawak government’s efforts in attracting more Chinese tourists to come here as well as to woo more investors from there in order to enhance and boost the local economy,” he said.
The delegation from Sarawak comprising 27 members were in Chengdu from July 29 to Aug 2.
They also held a meeting at the Department of Culture and Tourism of Sichuan Province on July 30, where they were received by the department’s deputy director-general Yan Sasuang and the department’s director of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Yuan Shijun.
During the meetings, they discussed on matters of mutual benefits including strategies for possible collaboration and opportunities, particularly on tourism, arts and culture.
This was followed by the Sarawak and China Business to Business (B2B) session organised through the collaboration with CITS Sichuan International Travel Service Co Ltd at Minya Hotel in Chengdu on the same day.
According to the ministry, the event was well received and was participated by 11 Sarawakian tour operators, hoteliers, tourism associations, handicrafts and product owners and 38 tour operators from throughout China.
The B2B session also provided a good avenue to promote the Visit Sarawak Campaign among the tour operators in Chengdu with the aim to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sarawak.
During this event, local Sarawak companies organised briefings for their Chinese counterparts on the latest tourism products and promotions with the aim of creating interest in Sarawak as a preferred tourist destination.
“Apart from the familiarisation trips, joint promotions and incentives were also proposed to China’s big-scale tour operators, hoteliers and airlines to generate their interest in tapping potential tourism business and opportunities in Sarawak,” it said.
Also present during the working visit were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Khim Shin and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.