Monday, March 28, 2011

Dragonair upbeat about Sabah Tourism

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s inbound tours are set for a rebound following the Japan’s quake. Cathay Pacific’s marketing manager, Yeoh Boo Leong, was of the view that tourists from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong who had cancelled their plans to that country, Sabah offers an appealing alternative.

Dragonair, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, operates five flights weekly Kota Kinabalu- Hong Kong. On average, it enjoys 80 per cent passenger load in this route.

Dragonair is well-placed to boost Sabah tourism as it is voted ‘Best Airline – China’ for six consecutive years, as well as ‘Best Regional Airline – Southeast Asia’.

According to Anna Choi, Dragonair’s manager for Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei, last year it was voted ‘World’s Best Regional Airline as it marked its silver anniversary.

“China is one of Dragonair’s biggest markets. The connections that Dragonair has in terms of networking in China are very good,” said Yeoh, adding that it is very convenient to connect their flights to Sabah’s capital.

From Taipeh, the airline has 19 flights daily to Hong Kong while it plies the Kaoshiung route four times a day, thus the connecting flight is less than two hours.

“Sabah’s pristine nature – its rainforest reserves, Mount Kinabalu, diving spots – is the only one of its kind in the world. This makes it a destination of choice from various parts of the world where Cathay Pacific operates,” Yeoh continued in his optimism of Sabah.

He reasoned that Sabah offered value for money for those who seek to relax and far from their normal environment. As far as the route to Kota Kinabalu is concerned, he said there was no low season – only shoulder to peak.

Earlier in her welcoming address to top performing agencies at the company’s dinner, Choi informed the industry players that Dragonair had restored its services to Changsha, Chongqing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan and Xiamen, operating 400 flights a week to 17 mainland China destinations. Flights were also added to Bengaluru, Busan, Kaoshiung, Phuket and Shanghai, besides Kota Kinabalu five times a week to Hong Kong.

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