KUCHING: Tourism players should be more proactive when it comes to participation in any event or forum meant to boost the sector.
In this regard, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stresses the importance for them to keep abreast with the latest trends to remain relevant in the field, especially through the use of social media for promotion.
“With so much potential and demands, we are confident that with the right development and marketing initiatives for our (tourism) destinations, Sarawak and Malaysia will shine on the world stage,” he said at the official opening of the 12th Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Fair in Boulevard Shopping Mall here yesterday.
Abdul Karim’s text of speech was read by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.
Moreover, Abdul Karim reminded all players again that tourism is not only associated with ‘mega events’, but also smaller events which have the same potential in attracting local and international visitors who in turn, would help generate revenues for the state through their spending on meals, accommodation, transportation and a host of other services.
“I firmly believe that the initiatives by Matta in organising this fair, as well as encouraging their members and tourism players to take part, are an accurate expression of the potential in Sarawak tourism industry.
“However, tour operators should also capitalise on international trade fairs, which provide the platform to potentially draw in more international deals. The private sector also should look into packaging events that complement Tourism Malaysia’s marketing and promotional activities.”
Abdul Karim said his ministry supports such initiatives – it is ready and willing to partner with the tourism players in developing the industry.
Meanwhile, Matta Sarawak Chapter president Chris Kon said the number of participants in this year’s fair reflects the overwhelming response from the tourism players given such a short time. The event – to run till Sunday – houses 67 booths, operated by 15 Matta members and 16 other travel-related service providers and tourism promotion organisations.