Sabah Tourism Board engages airlines in aviation route development forum

Sabah Tourism Board team led by chief executive officer Julinus Jeffrey Jimit (second right) having engagement with key players in the aviation industry.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah tourism authorities have engaged a string of airlines with the aim to revitalise and expand route networks to the Land Below the Wind.

Leading the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) team on these proactive engagements was its newly minted chief executive officer Julinus Jeffrey Jimit at the recently concluded Route Asia Forum 2024 in Langkawi.

The three-day event that ended on Thursday (Feb 29) provided STB with a valuable platform to strategise with key players in the aviation industry, including airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and other stakeholders.

Among the airlines STB had engaged with were Scoot, AirAsia, IndiGo, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar, HK Express, and Air India.

Highlighting the importance of this initiative, STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai emphasised the board’s commitment to partnering with airlines that share its vision for growth.

"Aligning with airlines, whether Malaysian or foreign, that cater to Sabah's target markets is vital for tourism growth," he said.

Bangkuai, who was also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister, further highlighted that this strategic approach not only expanded Sabah's tourism presence but also enhanced its position in key markets.

In line with this vision, he added, STB aimed to establish Sabah as a must-visit destination in the Asia Pacific region, leveraging the partnerships forged through this proactive approach.

Meanwhile, Jimit emphasised STB's focus on tapping into emerging markets such as India and Central Asia.

He said collaborating with airlines at Route Asia 2024 allows STB to engage potential partners who can effectively cater to Sabah's diverse target markets.

"Through these partnerships, STB aims to optimise route networks and improve connectivity both to and within Sabah, ultimately enhancing the tourism experience for visitors," he said.

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