Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday: – The charter flight initiatives between Taiwan and Sarawak was hoped to open up more opportunities for tourists and businessmen to be reconnected giving them mutual benefits, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg said last night.
Speaking at an appreciation dinner for Taiwanese partners at a hotel here, he said the charter flight will be a bridge to facilitate more business, tourists’ arrivals and bonding among the people that have been separated for a long period of time.
“The people of Taiwan and Borneo shared their ancient ancestry but the large-scale Austronesian expansion that began around 5000–2500 BC where they migrated out from Taiwan and headed southeast to the rest of the Philippines and into the islands of the Celebes Sea, Borneo and Indonesia had separated us,” he added.
“It is time now to rekindle this ancestral lineage and I am pleased that our direction in the charter flight initiative is in the right direction to bring back and foster better relationship between Taiwanese and Sarawakians.” he enthused.
Expressing the hope for better connectivity between Taiwan and Sarawak, he assured that the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) will continue its strategic direction and focus on building accessibility to facilitate exchange of the flow of tourists, visitors and the business community.
“I am pleased that with this direction and I hope that the charter initiatives will continue to move a step further to be upgraded into schedule charter and eventually schedule flight in the near future,” he hoped.
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage our partners in Taiwan to explore these potentials and to be mutually benefit from the initiatives,” he pointed out.
He thanked particularly the office of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre under the leadership of Datuk Adeline Leong, who was also present and Tourism Malaysia office in Taipei for their continuous support in assisting the STB in the promotion of Sarawak in Taiwan.
He said that his Ministry and STB were committed in further expanding its tourism promotion in the region and particularly in Taiwan and he equally hoped that the local industry partners will be able to share the enthusiasm and to profit from the business ventures.
Datuk Amar Abang Johari later presented mementoes of appreciation to partners including to the General Manager of See Mark Travel Services, Mark Chen and the Managing Director of China Dragon Travel Services, Hsiao Kuo Kang.
Also present at the dinner were Datuk Amar Abang Johari’s wife, Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani Tuanku Haji Bujang, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and also the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Tourism Board, Mary Wan Mering.
The Minister and his entourage left Taiwan for home later this afternoon after a successful four-day official visit.
Picture shows Datuk Amar Abang Johari (right) presenting an appreciation memento to Hsiao of China Dragon Travel Services. Also seen are Datuk Abdul Wahab (centre) and Datuk Lee.
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
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