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Malaysia Travel Guide

STB to Ramp up Tourism Promo in the Netherlands

STB to Ramp up Tourism Promo in the Netherlands

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is set to ramp its tourism promotion in the Netherlands with at least three Dutch operators who have expressed their interests in joint marketing collaboration.

“It’s timely as we are now promoting aggressively our Visit Sarawak Campaign”  said STB Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor after a destination briefing session which was attended by 15 Dutch operators and media partners here yesterday.

“I am glad we could offer a concrete proposal to the operators such as Fox Verre Reizen, Pangea Travel and Sawadee Reizen”, said Sharzede and adding that the agents are ready to go big time in Sarawak.

“What interests them is the destination that features responsible tourism and Sarawak has it, keeping to its theme as the destination that offers culture, adventure, nature, food and festival”, she added.

Sharzede admitted that “Sarawak has lost its ‘visibility’ in the Dutch market in the past years but we are determined to move in and partner these agents leveraging on the Visit Sarawak Campaign”, she explained.

“Yes, the arrival numbers were down, especially after the airline tragedy of 2014 when we lost the direct flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and that had affected the business of the Dutch operators” added Sharzede.

“After meeting the operators today, we are confident that we will be make inroads with our proposal offered to these operators to partner them in their promotional effort in the Netherlands”, she explained.

“What excites our Dutch partners are the new product experiences that we now have, including the central region and also the newly rejuvenated products like the Old Kuching Heritage Trail”.

“The Dutch have their ‘Kanaal’ and we too have canals in Mukah and these product similarities especially in the central region have aroused interests among our Dutch partners, giving us an opportunity to connect closely with them”, enthused Sharzede.

What we do now is ensure that these operators are shown and are able to experience the new products first hand, with familiarization trips organised by the Board partnering with local agents, she said.

Sharzede, who was joined by Rosni Mamat, First Secretary to the Embassy of Malaysia at The Hague, expressed high hopes in revitalising the Dutch-speaking markets, acknowledging that the destination product compatibility would take the Sarawak tourism industry to greater heights.

From the series of engagements we had with the Dutch operators, we believe the Dutch tourists look for experiential tourism and also choose destinations that subscribe to the principles of responsible tourism and as such Sarawak could leverage of these standards and values to position itself among the favoured destination in the region, she added.

Calling on the local industry partners to be industrious in churning out more tourism products and packages to remain competitive and be relevant, Sharzede was of the opinion that the long haul market of the Benelux will continue to be the main supplier of tourists in the coming years.

Meanwhile, both Product Managers from Fox Verre Reizen and Sawadee Reizen had also expressed their interests to do a familiarization trip to Sarawak in order for them to have a first-hand experience of the destination whereas the Product Manager of Pangea Travel had, indicated his intention to include the Central Region as a new product in their promotional catalogue.

STB is on a week-long tourism promotion mission to Finland and Holland to attend the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki and also conducted destination briefing and partners’ engagement session in Amsterdam with local Sarawak partners.

The mission was supported by Tourism Malaysia’s office at The Hague.

While in Helsinki on Tuesday, the STB delegation were guests at the office of the Malaysian Embassy’s First Secretary, Norhalilah Abdul Jalil.

Norhalilah (left) with Sharzede at her office.

 

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Malaysia Travel Guide

Three Nordic Travel Agencies to Partner STB to Promote Sarawak

Three Nordic Travel Agencies to Partner STB to Promote Sarawak

Helsinki (Finland), Monday: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has secured three Nordic partners to spearhead its marketing campaign for the year at the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair which ended here yesterday.

It was indeed a fruitful outing and we secured among the best Nordic travel agencies to work with us and we hope to partner them to drive our campaign, said the elated STB’s Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor.

“We had fruitful engagements with Finland’s Olympia Air Travel Limited, Helsinki based Adventura Tour Operator Ltd, and Copenhagen based Malaysia Experten and we will be doing follow up with these region’s leading operators”

“For a start, familiarisation trips for their product managers will be the first step to introduce the State’s Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festival’s product experiences”

“This is STB’s first foray into MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, and we find that there is great potential in this market as there is a match between the products that they are looking for and what we have to offer in Sarawak”, said Sharzede.

The three Nordic partners will be sending tour groups as early as next month for at least five to seven days tours in Sarawak and are currently selling tours with a departures also schedule in April.

Describing Sarawak as a favourite destination for those 50’s and above, Liisa Puolkkainen, Olympia Air Travel’s Product Manager, expressed confidence that Sarawak will continue to attract travellers from the Nordic countries particularly Finland where most of her clients look for nature and culture as their top choice in deciding their holiday destination.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Experten Business Development Manager, Charlotte Sandakumaran was of the opinion that Sarawak is a family destination for travellers from the Nordic region.

“My 15 years’ experience and having sold many Malaysia packages, Sarawak definitely captures interest of families as a safe and family friendly destination”, she opined.

Kuching based Ecogreen Holidays Director, Gary Speldewinde had high hopes for the Nordic market adding that MATKA Nordic Travel Fair was a good platform in educating Finnish travellers about the destination and the tours available.

“We have interests from 10 free independent travellers who were keen on Sarawak product experiences and we hope to be able to convince them of their choices and prepare them for their holidays” he added.

The annual Fair started on January 17 with the first day dedicated to trade visitors while the next three subsequent days were opened to members of the public.

Picture shows Sharzede (centre) with Charlottee (right) and Mustafa Ajan, Malaysia Experten Managing Director at a discussion at the fair.

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