November 3, 2007
4-nation cooperation urged to develop tourism industry
Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines, which form the BIMP-EAGA (East Asean Growth Area) region, should cooperate rather than compete with each other to develop their tourism industries.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said joint efforts to promote tourism would be beneficial to all BIMP-EAGA member countries.
“If we can undertake joint promotions, such as packages combining different destinations in the region, we will be in a strong position to attract more visitors.
“The Sarawak government, on our part, will always be prepared to work together in the regional context to promote tourism,” he said when opening the 3rd BIMP-EAGA Travel Exchange here on Friday.
Taib said the four member countries should also work together to bring in more low-cost airlines to the region.
“Perhaps a dialogue between low-cost airlines and industry players can be held to chart out tourism promotion efforts in the region,” he said.
He also pointed out that the four countries shared a similar cultural and natural heritage.
“We should try to promote the beauty of our culture as our main tourism attraction. We also have our nature which has preserved its pristine character, such as Mulu in Sarawak and Mount Kinabalu in Sabah,” he said.
The four-day travel exchange at the Permata Exhibition Centre here is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Federation and the Urban Development and Tourism Ministry.
It features 80 exhibitors from the four BIMP-EAGA countries as well as from the East Asia Tourism Forum comprising China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.