Posted on 30 Mar 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (March 30): The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) hopes to see better air connectivity between Sarawak and other major cities in the world to help boost tourism.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said tourism stakeholders in the state could work closely to see how to increase load factor.

“On behalf of the travel agents, I wish there could be more direct flights. With better air connectivity, the inbound tourism would also fare better.

“Perhaps travel agents can begin to talk to new airlines to see how they can bring in more tourists to Sarawak,” he told reporters after launching Airworld Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd at Gala City here today.

Airworld Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd is the fourth branch under Airworld Group of Companies, headed by Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, who is also Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents chairman.

Matta Sarawak Chapter president Oscar Choo pointed out Kuching used to have direct flights to Hong Kong, Bali, and Shenzhen.

He added that these direct routes failed after a couple of months due to low passenger volume.

To this, Tan said Matta as well as its Sarawak Chapter would work closely with the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) to assess how they could bring in tourists from India, Australia, Japan, and Korea.

He stressed passenger load is key to sustaining air connectivity and boosting tourism development.

Meanwhile, Liaw called on the Sarawak government and STB to give their support to Airworld Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd to work on charter flights between Sarawak and other cities such as those in China.

“I’ve been doing charter flights for the past 22 years, and between 2005 and 2009, I did Kuching-Beijing charter flights. What I’ve done for Sabah tourism, I hope to do the same for Sarawak.

“Sarawak has what Sabah doesn’t have. We must find other ways to sell Sarawak products,” he said.

Liaw called for tourism players to join forces to boost arrivals in Sarawak rather than compete against each other.

“No one travel agent can absorb all because there are so many businesses like river cruise. We have to split and we shall help each other,” he said.

The Borneo Post

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