KOTA KINABALU: Some 200,000 northern China tourists are expected to visit Sabah in a year once chartered flights take off in three months’ time, according to one of the stakeholders.The long-term deal was the result of international travel collaboration between Cekal Aman Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) and its China charter flights partner, BJ ST International Travel Co Ltd (China), said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew BJ ST International Travel is a major operator involved in chartering flights out of China to Jeju City, South Korea, as well as Vietnam’s Nha Trang and Da Nang.
“We must capitalise on northern China’s outbound tourism by wooing the tourists to make Sabah their preferred holiday destination,” she said in a statement yesterday.
On Monday, Liew, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, received a courtesy call from a delegation from Cekal Aman.
Liew has also instructed Sabah Tourism Board to render the necessary assistance to facilitate the inflow of the tourists to the state.
Cekal Aman operations director Aaron Chang said the company, during its briefing with the minister, noted that northern China is a relatively new market for flight chartering by BJ ST International Travel, which aims to connect cities like Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Chongqing, Xi’an, Wuhan, Shijiazhuang and Shenyang to Kota Kinabalu.“Chartered flights from these routes are ready to start in three months upon full approval by the local authorities,” he said.