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By Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, Nov 5: The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Sarawak (STATOS) are engineering the mechanisms of an early strategic partnership to get a jump start on reviving future Singaporean tourist arrivals to Sarawak, with full reactivation to begin once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
In a joint press statement Minister of MOTAC, Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri said with the alignment of the ministry complementary resources and intelligence, it means that the Ministry and STATOS can look forward to a healthy strategic collaboration that will shape and accelerate future tourism outcomes from Singapore.
“Via development of lucrative “niche tourism” areas; such as trade linked tourism and food tourism, Sarawak stands to buoy its tourism economy and develop new sources of employment by the end of the pandemic. Such areas are certainly promising to develop with the Singaporean market in mind,” she said.
Nancy pointed out 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-strategising exercises.
“Sarawak tourism had an advantage in this regard with its home-grown, Singapore-based entity STATOS,” she added.
Meanwhile, STATOS Deputy Chief Executive Officer Putrie Rozana Soraya explained the partnership with Motac 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 for Singaporeans.
She added Singaporean travelers to Sarawak had grown year-on-year, clocking in at a seven-percent increase in 2019, and presenting strong grounds to form a structured partnership with MOTAC.
“Based on the favorable growth numbers up until 2019, 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,” she added.
Also present at the meeting between MOTAC and STATOS were MOTAC officers Mohd Zamri Mat Zain, Deputy Secretary-General of Tourism and Deputy Under Secretary Tourism Policy and International Affairs Yong Ee Chin, alongside STATOS Chief Executive Officer, Chew Chang Guan. – DayakDaily.