Sarawak rising star at MATTA fair

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 September 2018: MATTA Travel Fair closed at the weekend with Sarawak Tourism Board announcing it expects to attract 4.8 million visitors retaining its status as “Malaysia’s favourite destination”.

Sarawak mustered 14 booths and a big delegation of travel providers at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents Fair hosted in Kuala Lumpur 7 to 9 September.

Sarawak Tourism Board marketing director, Benedict Jimbau, said the target, now within reach, would be an improvement on 4.956 million visitors recorded last year.

“We had more than 120 packages to new tourism destinations, half of which are in central Sarawak that were presented to fair visitors, he explained.

“Central Sarawak is considered ‘experiential tourism’ at its best because some places are still unexplored by tourists and well off the popular routes.”

The STB delegation identified Sibu, Mukah and the fishing village of Kabong as places that would give visitors insights into Sarawak’s distinct culture and heritage, according to Jimbau who made the evaluation at a press briefing held at Matta’s headquarters.

From January until July this year, Sarawak reported 2.5 million visitors of which 1.269 million were domestic tourists.

However more international flights from Singapore, Bangkok and China will raise international tourist arrivals particularly within travel segments linked to adventure, outdoor activities, cultural and heritage.

The state presented its divergent culinary offerings, highlighted self-driving holidays and adventure activities such as rainforest kayaking and caving during the show.

He said the Sarawak Pavilion also hosted lucky draws and social media contests for those buying packages.

Held biannually in Kuala Lumpur, the MATTA fair promotes both domestic and outbound travel. The September fair exceeded its target selling 1,356 booths to travel suppliers from airlines, hotels, attractions, cruises and tour wholesaling. The next MATTA fair will be held 15 to 17 March 2019.

(Source: MATTA)