Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Sarawak is gearing up its new strategy, shifting to domestic tourism to promote the state as a preferred holiday destination.

Among the promotional and marketing initiatives are four consumer fairs as well as to intensify promotion in areas that have direct flights with Sarawak.

The four fairs are MITA Travel Fair from March 23 to 29 in Kuala Lumpur, MATTA Fair Cuti-Cuti Malaysia on April 4 and 5 (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE) from June 12 to 14 (Kuala Lumpur) and ASITA Travel Fair in April in Bandung, Indonesia.

“Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Travel and Tour will have direct arrangements with certain agents in other states to promote both sides,” said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“Within Sarawak, the promotion is very easy as we promote through our local media and social media. Everyone knows what events are going to happen in Miri and Kuching,” he told reporters after chairing the State Tourism Steering Committee meeting at Pullman Hotel here yesterday.

“I strongly believe the economy in the middle class has risen and these are the ones who love to travel. Nowadays, a lot of parents will bring their children out during school holidays so if we can have good promotion, they might consider travelling within our own state,” he said.

STB chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor, who was also present at the press conference, noted that any direct flight that Sarawak had with other states namely Penang, Kota Bharu, Johor and Kuala Lumpur, would be STB’s first focus.