Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flight routes from South Korea and Japan may lift Sarawak Tourism

SARAWAK’S private tourism sector is cautiously optimistic that next year will be a better year in terms of tourist arrivals from developed countries.

The sector is banking on two new flight routes from South Korea and Japan, which will begin in mid-January.

However, concerns remain on whether the new flight routes will be sustainable. Also, it does not help that arrivals from rich nations like Singapore have dropped.

According to latest Tourism and Heritage Ministry figures, Singaporean arrivals shrunk 19% (to just 31,000) in the first 10 months of this year.

“Arrivals from rich countries is very important,” Sarawak Tourism Federation president Audry Wan Ullok told StarMetro in an interview.

“Sometimes, the figures seem very gloomy, but the industry must remain positive because of the new flights. The tourism board has been asked to step up marketing overseas.”

On the decrease of arrivals from rich nations, she said the right kind of awareness had not been generated overseas. Sarawak was facing stiff competition from destinations like Bali and Bangkok.

The Internet, she added, had levelled the marketing capabilities for poorer nations.

She said that targeted segments might not have been suitable, highlighting that the youth market was largely untapped.

“In places like Singapore, the Education Ministry is encouraging its students to visit lesser-developed countries like our’s. We should work towards attracting more tourists of that kind.”

This, she said, was because the younger tourists were more adventurous and willing to visit rural areas.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Flight routes from South Korea and Japan may lift Sarawak Tourism

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