save malaysia!

Boost Chinese tourist arrival in Sabah via charter flights

Publish date: Sat, 13 Aug 2022, 07:39 PM

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should consider launching charter flights to speed up arrival of Chinese tourists to the state.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) chairman Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said the state should not wait for the resumption of China's scheduled flights.

"We have been waiting for too long since 2020. In fact, there were flights operating between Kuala Lumpur and Xiamen, Shanghai and Guangzhou during the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"So there is no reason for them not to fly to Sabah because our tourism sector relies heavily on air connectivity. 

"The arrival of tourists is important to boost the state's economy and China is our biggest contributor," said Liaw.

He suggested that China operates charter flights based on point-to-point basis for one to two months.

"If there is no reported increase in the number of Covid-19 cases during that period, we should add more cities. Sabah is also a favourite destination for the Chinese.

"We can start flying from smaller cities such as Guilin and Hangzhou.

"However, we prefer to start from Shenzhen in the southern part," said Liaw.

He believes there are many Chinese eager to travel especially during the long 'Golden Week' in October which is their National Day holiday.

Recently, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin held a meeting with China Southern Airlines general manager Eric Wang, China Eastern Airlines general manager Lu Jing, China Air general manager Yin Jian Ming and Xiamen Airlines sales manager Gao Yashuang in Kuala Lumpur.

However, there was no indication as to when flights from the airlines would resume.

Chinese tourists contributed significantly to the state's international arrivals, with 593,623 arrivals in 2018 and 598,566 the following year prior to the lockdown, said Jafry.

Be the first to like this. Showing 0 of 0 comments

Post a Comment