Motac, Statos to jump-start Singaporean tourist arrivals

Zoom meeting between Motac and Statos recently.

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) and the Sarawak Trade & Tourism Office Sarawak (Statos) are engineering a partnership to revive Singaporean tourist arrivals to Sarawak, with full reactivation to begin once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Motac and Statos will explore ways to tap the lucrative Singaporean market, with further tinkering and branding efforts on ‘niche tourism’ areas in Sarawak that may spark special interest in Singaporeans.

“Alignment of our complementary resources and intelligence means that the ministry and Statos can look forward to a healthy strategic collaboration that will shape and accelerate future tourism outcomes from Singapore,” said Motac minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri during a virtual meeting between the ministry and Statos recently.

She added that via development of lucrative ‘niche tourism’ areas, such as trade-linked tourism and food tourism, Sarawak stood to buoy its tourism economy and develop new sources of employment by the end of the pandemic.

“The harsh reality of the global economic climate and impact of Covid-19 on travel, has compelled the formation of more inter-agency partnerships as part of national re-strategisation exercises,” she pointed out, adding that Sarawak tourism had an advantage in this regard with its home-grown, Singapore-based entity Statos.

Established in 2019, Statos serves as the premier communication hub between business communities in Sarawak and Singapore in order to expand trade, investment and tourism.

Statos deputy chief executive officer Putrie Rozana Soraya said that Singaporean travellers to Sarawak had grown year-on-year, clocking in at a seven per cent increase last year and presenting strong grounds to form a structured partnership with Motac.

“Based on the favourable growth numbers up until last year, Singapore is an excellent market for Sarawak to tap not only for tourism, but also trade and investment. Until the pandemic abates, Statos will continue to educate Singaporeans on the diversified tourism offerings available in Sarawak in anticipation of an eventual recovery.

“Ultimately, we would expect this cross-border, inter-agency partnership between Motac and Statos to give Sarawak an advantageous point of re-entry to the tourism game, once travel conditions are more favourable.”