Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sarawak losing European tourists

Fewer Europeans visited Sarawak last year after a new operator took over the rural air service.

Sarawak Tourism Board’s chief executive officer Gracie Geikie said the move by Malaysia Airlines to stop its rural air service resulted in most European tour wholesalers suspending Sarawak packages, especially those to Mulu National Park.

“We are still monitoring the air services,” Geikie said at the board’s meeting with tourism industry partners here yesterday.

Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) became the new rural air service operator last August.

There were 2.98 million arrivals last year, down from 3.02 million in 2005.

Three months into Visit Malaysia 2007, she said the feedback from tourism players was that the situation was slow.

“However, we expect an influx of tourists from this month with several major tourism events coming up, like the Miri International Jazz Festival, World Rainforest Music Festival and Borneo Cultural Festival,” she added.

Source : STAR
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