STB teams up with airlines to boost tourism

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has engaged a string of airlines to expand air route networks to the Land Below the Wind. This is in tandem with its effort to revitalise the state’s tourism industry.

Among the airlines engaged are AirAsia, Turkish Airlines, Scoot (Singapore), Lufthansa (Ger-many), Vietjet (Vietnam), Jetstar (Australia), Hong Kong Express, as well as Air India and IndiGo (India).

Leading a team on these proactive engagements at the recently concluded Route Asia Forum 2024 in Langkawi, STB’s newly minted chief executive officer, Julinus Jeffrey Jimit, said the board is focusing on tapping into emerging markets such as India and Central Asia.

He said the three-day event, which ended on Thursday, provided STB with a valuable platform to strategise with key players in the aviation industry, including airlines, airports and tourism authorities.

“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, we aim to optimise route networks and improve connectivity both to and within Sabah, ultimately enhancing the tourism experience for visitors,” he added.

Highlighting the importance of this initiative, STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the board is committed to partnering with airlines that share its vision for growth.

He said the board plans on making Sabah a must-visit destination in the Asia Pacific region.

“Aligning with airlines, be they local or foreign, that cater to Sabah’s target markets is vital for tourism growth,” he added.

Bangkuai – who is also the state Tourism, Culture and Environ-ment Assistant Minister – further highlighted that this strategic approach not only enhances Sabah’s tourism presence but also strengthens its position in key markets.

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