As we enter the last day at this year’s event in Mumbai and discuss over breakfast the amazing entertainment provided by the teams at GVK and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) at last night’s Networking Evening, we now start to turn our attention to next year. As has already been revealed, the Routes Asia event will travel to Malaysia in 2014 and will take place in Kuching, Sarawak. An official handover ceremony will take place later today.
Building on the success of this year’s event which saw over 700 hundred delegates in attendance, the largest route development forum for the entire Asia region will take place between 9th and 11th March, 2014 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia hosted by the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and co-hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
In a speech which will take place at the official handover ceremony in Mumbai, India, Honourable Datuk Amar Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Abang Haji Openg, Minister for Tourism for Sarawak is expected to say: “We are indeed grateful to Routes for giving us the opportunity to be associated with such a prestigious event. This is a great honour for Sarawak to be highlighted among prominent airlines and airports fraternity at this important event. Needless to say, we are the host for your Routes Asia 2014 and I have come personally to Mumbai to welcome all of you to Kuching when the event unveils itself next year in March.”
Air transport to Sarawak is served by four major airports; Kuching International Airport, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri Airports and as the region has frequent air links from major aviation hubs Kuching is one of the most accessible cities in Malaysia. Flights to Kuching are available from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is served by more than 50 carriers.
Sarawak, known as the Land of the Hornbills, is the largest of the Malaysian states and is situated on the island of Borneo. Home to the world’s oldest tropical rainforests it is abundant in wildlife including rare and endangered species such as the orang-utan and the hornbill. The historic capital city of Kuching has a population of around 600,000 and dates back hundreds of years when traders from China and the West would travel there to trade the exotic treasures of the rainforest. Today Kuching remains the central hub and gateway to Sarawak.
“We are delighted that Routes Asia will be returning to Malaysia in 2014,” David Stroud, Executive Vice President, Routes told The HUB during last night’s Network Evening in Mumbai. “Malaysia has a special place in the history and development of this event as the first three Routes Asia events were hosted there and, as such, our co-hosts next year, Malaysia Airport, played a key role in helping the event get established. Sarawak is a location of outstanding natural beauty, a place where you can visit rainforests, encounter orang-utan and hornbills.
“This place is full of natural wonders whilst at the same time equipped with the state-of-the art infrastructure of a leading economy and we are looking forward to welcoming even more members of the aviation community in Kuching next year,” he added.
This will be the fifth time that a Routes event has taken place in Malaysia. In 2003 the first Routes Asia event, also the first ever Routes regional event, was held in Sepang hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad who went on to host Routes Asia for the following two years and World Routes 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.