Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Abg Jo’s European connection


Sunday 5 June 2011, Star Online
KUCHING: The Tourism and Heritage Ministry is working with various airline companies to improve flight connectivity to bring European and Australasian tourists to Sarawak. Its minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state with vast greenery had a lot to offer especially to those foreigners who love nature and appreciate indigenous culture.

“Western tourists like green environment and want a different experience with local indigenous culture. We are still green and have a lot to offer, such as Sematan and Lundu area,” he told reporters during his visit to TV3’s Jom Heboh carnival at the State Stadium in Petra Jaya here.

He said the state could not offer shopping experience to Arab tourists but the preferred natural environment should be packaged to attract visitors especially Europeans.  Johari said he had new ideas to promote the state but he would only announce it at a later stage.  Among the planned initiatives to boost tourism here is to improve flight connectivity to bring those tourists who love nature.

“I have a new idea but I cannot announce it now. We need a thorough discussion with the Federal Government and airline companies, including Malaysia Airlines and other airline companies based in Singapore.

“Last time Europeans can fly directly here but the flight is no longer available. We need to connect to major cities in Europe and Australia, New Zealand, and other major cities in Asia so international tourists can come direct here.”

However, Johari declined to mention when he would make the announcement.

“Let me work first. I have a deadline but I will keep it to myself (for now),” he said.  He added that tourism products and infrastructure in the state should be good in order to attract tourists.  He pointed out hotels in the state were good but needed to be upgraded


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