Delegates at this year’s Routes Asia forum gained a clear view of the richness of Sarawak’s unique and timeless cultural heritage as they arrived at the event’s networking evening at the Hotel Pullman in Kuching. From the balconies of the hotel leading to this majestic ballroom hosting dinner, co-host, Ministry of Tourism Sarawak made every effort to afford the network planning community with a true Borneo experience.
Speaking at the event, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, chairman of fellow event host Malaysia Airports Holding Company, paid tribute to the opportunities the forum has provided. “Routes Asia is one excellent opportunity for the state government and stakeholders like Malaysia Airports to galvanise their efforts to allow many enablers in the aviation value chain to emerge, so that tourism and trade can flourish through the increased liberalisation of air services activities into and out of Kuching and Sarawak,” he said.
“The positive economic effect of greater flight connectivity into Sarawak is undisputable and Malaysia Airports is very eager to render our full support towards the Sarawak government in order to promote Kuching and the many interesting destinations in Sarawak on the world and regional tourism maps,” added Tan Sri Wan Aziz.
Despite the inevitable modernisation that a city has to embrace as part of its advancement, it is clear that Kuching has not lost any of its heritage. “It is heart-warming to know that such cultural legacy in Kuching and its interiors are still bountiful; and l am certain that Kuching has managed to capture the hearts and minds of those who have spent a few nights here,” he said.
According to Tan Sri Wan Aziz, the hope now is that the record level of attendees at this year’s Routes Asia will now become ambassadors for the city and Sarawak region, especially the airline delegates. “To our dignitaries of foreign airlines, you now have a verified knowledge of Kuching’s tourism abundance and I hope you will return to your office with raised vigour and enthusiasm to see your airline flags flying to this city and develop the city linkages between your country and Sarawak and Malaysia,” he said.
To meet the hoped for growth in demand, Tan Sri Wan Aziz also made a commitment to ensure the local aviation infrastructure would be prepared to meet any additional demand the event’s host meetings may bring into Sarawak. Whilst we endeavour to lure the international tourists and more airlines into the heartland of Sarawak, Malaysia Airports will ensure that Kuching International Airport is always ready in terms of capacity and capabilities to cater to the passengers and airlines requirements,” he said.
“We will ensure that it meets if not exceed, the global airport operations standard to facilitate the demand and growth of passengers passing through this important international gateway. To demonstrate our firm commitment to continuous operational service excellence, the airport will undergo a terminal improvement project not too far from now to provide a heightened travelling experience for users of this airport,” he added.
Look below to see some photographs from the Routes Asia Networking Evening...