Sarawak embarks on China campaign

KUCHING, 15 January 2018:  AirAsia recently hosted 20 travel agents from Guangzhou and Shenzhen to tour Sarawak in the hope the agents will launch new tour offerings for Chinese travellers in the two cities.

Sarawak Tourism Board and the low-cost airline hosted the agents, chosen from a list of 70 agents, who had attended road show presentations last December in China.

Air Asia recently introduced a service between Kuching-and Shenzhen late December.

At the same time the airline introduced a new service Singapore to Bintulu.

The five-day familiarisation trip enabled the China agents to check for themselves the various Sarawak tourism product experiences and also the various hotel properties.

They also attended networking sessions with local travel partners that included five Sarawak hoteliers and eight travel agents, the latter presenting tour packages for the China travel operators to consider.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who also led the roadshow delegation, last December commented: “The business sessions allowed us to meet more than 70 China’s agents and they were very enthusiastic about Sarawak as it is seen as a new destination”.

He was optimistic that China’s huge tourism market will open up the travel and hospitality business in the state and bring in tourism related investment opportunities to spur development.

“STB will continue to collaborate with Air Asia to tap the travel potential in South China especially now that we will have this new direct flight,” he reiterated.

The Assistant Minister called on industry partners to prepare for the influx of China tourists that will occur as more direct flights are established.

AirAsia flew about 4.8 million passengers in and out of Sarawak in 2017, which is 12.1% more than in 2016 with China and Singapore among the top five nationality.

AirAsia now flies to 12 destinations from Kuching with a total of 229 weekly flights one way. In addition to Shenzhen, the airline also flies from Kuching to Singapore, Pontianak, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

AirAsia also flies to three destinations from Bintulu namely Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching with a total of 39 weekly flights one way.