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Joint MoU to promote Sabah tourism attraction to India

KOTA KINABALU: The Travel Agents Federation India (TAFI) of the Tamil Nadu Chapter, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sabah and Malindo Air have jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote Sabah’s tourism attractions to the people in India.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony cum Business To Business (B2B) Session yesterday, Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Ken Pan Ying On said that the agreement would benefit all tour agents and hoteliers in Sabah.

“With this MoU, Sabah local tour agents and hoteliers can grab the opportunity to start partnering with travel agents from India throughout 2019 to 2020, starting with a target of 50 pax per tour agent from 31 TAFI agents here yesterday (Saturday), which I’m confident will increase,” said Ken in his officiating speech.

He pointed out that India is the second most populous country in the world and is set to be the next biggest outbound travel market globally after China.

“Hence, this B2B will open up great opportunities for the state’s tourism industry to capture this market.

“We would like to have a diverse range of tourists from other markets to level the numbers with the steady growth of Chinese tourists in Sabah,” he added.

Meanwhile, Matta Sabah chairman Lawrence Chin said that his association had always been proactive in promoting and facilitating travel to Sabah.

“Although Malaysia is already one of the most visited countries, there is still room to increase more visitors from countries with a huge population such as India.

“The number of visitors to Sabah from India in the year 2017 and year 2018 was 6,196 and 5,606 respectively. By 2020, Sabah should be getting 50,000 tourists from India which is only a minimum number compared to the large Indian population.

“Our tourism industry will thrive on the support and consistency efforts from Sabah Tourism Board in promoting Sabah as the top-of-mind destination,” said Lawrence.

He said that MATTA Sabah would like to see healthy growth of visitors from India after the signing of yesterday’s MOU.

“As such, the room for growth for India visitors to Sabah, Malaysia, is much bigger, and together, we can make it happen.

“Members can develop strategic partnership and promotion of their services to Indian outbound tour operators through this cooperation.

“Such collaboration will create favourable conditions for the continuous tourism growth for Malaysia and India tourism industry and members’ interest,” he added.

Among those present in the event were TAFI chairman S. Arul Lazaran, Malindo Air Head of Communications and Promotions (South Asia) Suresh Vanan, Tourism Malaysia Senior deputy director Asia/Africa Division Mohamad Taib Ibrahim and STB general manager Suzaini Sabdin Ghani.

Source: Borneo Post Online | Apr 7, 2019