Routes Asia 2014 catalyst for more tourists from China

Sarawak’s Minister for Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg will be launching Routes Asia 2014, the largest route development forum for the entire Asia region in Kuching on March 9 2014.

Datuk Abang Zohari said, “I am happy to launch Routes Asia 2014 and to host members of the regional aviation industry in Kuching. I hope this will be a start of bigger things to come for Sarawak’s tourism industry.”

He added, “The tourism landscape is changing rapidly. China is now the number one tourism market in the world with the number of Chinese tourists travelling outside the country hitting 97 million in 2013. We want to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming into Sarawak from the 30,000 that we are currently getting now and hopefully events like Routes Asia will make that happen.”

Routes Asia 2014A total of 146 delegates representing 100 airlines and 233 delegates representing 173 airports have so far confirmed their attendance at the event. The hosting of one of Asia’s most important civil aviation events holds the promise of new routes and air services into Sarawak’s thriving capital and is testimony of the growing importance of Kuching as an international air hub and destination.

Hosted by the State Government of Sarawak and co-hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the three-day forum will be attracting a number of airlines from China including China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China. Routes Asia 2014 will also feature long running airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines.

Face-to-face Meeting form the core of the event, while a series of Route Exchange Airline Briefings will be offering offer valuable insights for those interested in airline financing, new routes’ requirements and new tourism markets. Speakers at the summit include Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, Andrew Cowen, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Express, Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, Director of Commercial, Malaysia Airlines and Vijay Poonoosamy, VP International Affairs Etihad amongst others.