KUCHING: Local tour operators should establish closer cooperation and better networking with their Chinese counterpart in order to further promote the state's tourism products.
Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) president Wee Hong Seng told reporters at a news conference here yesterday that a delegation from the China International Travel Agencies (CITA) would be here today to find out what the state could offer.
"Members of the delegation will be present at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and this is an opportunity for our tour operators to promote their products to the China market," he said.
Wee said in view of the big China market, local tour operators should exploit this golden opportunity.
"What I understand is that the Chinese delegation is here to find out the products we have because they want to include them in their tour packages.
"This is a good opportunity because it has been said that there would be more and more outbound Chinese nationals in the future. In 2020, it is expected that there will be around one billion outbound Chinese people.
"This is a great potential for us with the products that we have, but the thing is we have to promote them and we hope that the delegation members will help us do the promotion in their country," he said.
He said although the number of Chinese arrivals was on the increase it was still small compared with the big population that China had. In 2006 about 20,000 Chinese nationals visited the state, and last year the total was less than 40,000.
"We are trying to get more Chinese visitors to come to Sarawak, and for that we have to exploit every potential in the China market," he said.