Monday, December 28, 2015

New Kuching route will make Hong Kong gateway to Borneo

KUCHING: With the papers inked for the twice-weekly Hong Kong-Kuching-Hong Kong route starting April 2016, the local tourism has some work ahead in preparing to receive visitors from Hong Kong and Southern China.

Planet Borneo Group of Companies’ director/principal consultant Gracie Geikei is happy to see that the Hong Kong-Kuching sector is back again.

“This will open up markets, making Hong Kong the gateway to Borneo – if we align our tourism marketing efforts to support this,” she told The Borneo Post. She added that the influx of tourists was very much dependent on the local tourism operators and stakeholders and how the Sarawak tourism board could work with them to synergise their marketing efforts.

“Engagement and execution are vital to ensure we do not miss this opportunity. There have been too many international flights coming in, only to pull out because of poor load.” Gracie opined there were tremendous opportunities for working expatriates in China to visit Sarawak.

“This route will open new growth for Sarawak.” Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak chairman Chris Kon said local hoteliers and travel agents were excited about the new airline coming into the city.

“It’s a good start and a good move as now there are very limited direct flights into Kuching. Hong Kong is the gateway for China. It is also an international connection to other parts of the world.”

Kon, a tourism industry veteran of 25 years, pointed out that this was not only good for tourism but also for business, especially China businesses with an interest in investing here.

“Our only concern is not to look inbound alone but to promote Sarawak to the world through Hong Kong. There is great potential for inbound. Hong Kong is a concrete jungle. Sarawak is their gateway to nature, culture and adventure.”