This is the first time the organisers of the show, Messe Berlin, are staging the Asian edition of their international tourism show, ITB Berlin, here.
It attracted a good turnout of Malaysian travel and tour operators.
Sarawak Tourism Board marketing manager Mary Wan Mering, who had participated in the “mother show” in Berlin, said her participation here was to gain access to the Asian travel and tour operators.
“While the ITB Berlin provides us with another platform, this Singapore event affords us an opportunity to establish new business contacts with tour operators who have not done business with Sarawak.
“I received 28 buyers on the first day and all of them expressed an interest to come to Sarawak.
“The quality of trade buyers is also good because they come here with a strong business orientation,” she told Bernama at the Suntech Exhibition Centre where the show is being held.
Zulkifli Othman, resort manager of Kuching-based Daman Beach Resort, a property owned by the Sarawak government, aimed to get maximum exposure here.
“We have been visited by travel agents, tour operators, organisers of meetings and other events.
“There were 12 solid enquiries which could easily translate into business.
“In fact, we have already secured business from an adult education school in Singapore which was interested in outdoor and team-building activities in Sarawak,” he said.
Othman said his hotel’s business, which was derived mainly from Europe, was not affected by the depreciation of the US dollar.
“The recession and the financial crisis have also not affected our business because our contracts were signed sometime back,” he said.
Sabah Tourism Board marketing manager Noredah Othman said the event provided a good base to tap business.
“This show provides us with an opportunity to establish contacts with Asian buyers who come here,” she said.
She said the response had been good and she was “fairly satisfied” with the business enquiries.
Noredah said the Sabah tourism business was doing well despite the ongoing financial crisis.
“However, it is too early to pinpoint if and to what extent there has been any adverse impact on the tourism traffic. We will know in December,” she said.
She said Sabah hoped to tap the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions segment once the state’s convention centre was ready.
“The state’s investment arm has already made the preliminary planning of the 5,000-seat centre which will be located at the sea close to Kota Kinabalu.
“The project is expected to be completed in 2010,” she said. - BERNAMA
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2008]