Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tourism budget is 'not enough'

Stung by criticisms that "not enough was done" to market and promote the Mulu national park and Miri city in Singapore, the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has handed in a request to the state Tourism Ministry for an additional RM1 million to launch a "multi-pronged and stepped up" campaign in the island nation.
"The budget would be specifically for Singapore. Give us the budget and we know what to do with it," STB chief executive officer Gracie Geikie said yesterday after attending the launch of the city's tram for tourists.

It was launched by state Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin.

The tram, owned by STB Leisure & Properties Sdn Bhd and operated by Park City Everly Hotel, would be used to take tourists on city tours and shuttle them among the major shopping complexes at no charge.

Geikie said the additional amount requested "was not very much". "It is very small in fact. When you convert it to Singapore dollars, its less than half a million. But with that budget, we also hope to increase the number of Singaporeans to Sarawak by 50 per cent."

Last year, 40,000 Singaporeans visited Sarawak, Geikie said.

She added the new Singapore campaign would also make them want to "stay longer and spend more" here. She said Singaporeans on average stay only two nights and spent RM850.

Geikie said now the frequency of direct flights between Singapore and Kuching has increased, a new campaign would help the airlines.

"The number of seats on the direct fights have jumped from 2,800 to 7,000 and we need to fill up those seats or the airlines would start going back to what they had done before -- cancel the flights due to poor load."

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development Lee Kim Shin, yesterday admitted the absence of direct flights to the city and tour packages that are "not competitive" hampered the growth of the tourism industry here.

"What Miri needs are direct flights."

He said the state Tourism Ministry had already held talks for the last three years with Singapore's two major budget carriers, Tiger Airways and Jetstar, to mount direct flights between Singapore and Miri for a start.

Miri recorded a tourist arrival of 1.5 million last year, most of them repeat visitors from neighbouring Brunei.

Source :
[tags : ]

No comments:




Related Posts with Thumbnails