Sarawak Tourism Board Highlights Sarawak’s Eco and Adventurous Appeal to UK Market in New Partnerships

Two Memorandum of Understanding signed between Sarawak Tourism Board and Malaysia Airlines Berhad followed by Sarawak Tourism Board and National Geographic Traveller

2.20 pm, Monday 7 November 2022

London, 7 November 2022: A flagship, three-day event highlighting Sarawak’s unique environmental, natural, and cultural appeal to intrepid British consumers will form the basis of new year-long strategic partnerships agreed today between Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) followed by STB and National Geographic Traveller at London Excel’s World Travel Market. 

The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) between STB and MAB is to target the UK market in 2023 through joint marketing campaigns that will highlight Sarawak as a unique eco-tourism destination with diverse products ranging from dense jungle environments and amazing wildlife, from its gentle orangutans to rare birds such as the Dulit Frogmouth. 

Additionally, it will serve as a platform to promote Sarawak’s cultural diversity of indigenous tribes and the gastronomy delights of the region. The partnership shows confidence in the strength of the UK market for travellers to Sarawak and will continue to build on this potential. 

Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Tourism Board said “With the reopening of our borders in April this year, we are happy to share that Sarawak’s visitor arrivals from the UK ranked 6 in the chart with a growth of 7238.27% from January till September 2022. I am confident that with this latest collaboration with Malaysia Airlines and National Geographic Traveller will entice more visitors from the UK into Sarawak after this.”  

Captain Izham Ismail, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad commented, “As the only non-stop carrier operating direct flights from London to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines continues to see steady demand in growth and a healthy load factor for forward bookings on our flagship route. 

“We look forward to welcoming more travellers from the UK and other neighbouring markets into the country to explore the diverse culture, warm hospitality, and delicacies Malaysia has to offer, underpinned by our inimitable Malaysian Hospitality service along their journey. 

“By further strengthening our partnership with the Sarawak Tourism Board, we hope to provide the convenience of onward connecting flights into Sarawak including via sister airline Firefly and MASwings, to explore the Land of the Hornbill via MASwings.”

Malaysia Airlines flies twice daily on its non-stop London to Kuala Lumpur flagship route, with seamless onward connection to cities in Sarawak namely Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. MASwings operates the rural air services to small towns in the state including Mukah, Mulu and Limbang.

The London-Kuala Lumpur route is operated by the state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient Airbus A350, featuring its signature Business Suite, Business Class and Economy Class cabins, providing comfort and convenience to the varying traveller needs. 

Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism Board looks to further its responsible tourism initiatives and increase conversion and growth among its traditional UK market through an MoU with National Geographic Traveller. The MoU will highlight the collaboration between both parties to advocate responsible tourism practices, environment and community awareness through media publicity. 

Matt Midworth, Commercial Director of National Geographic Traveller (UK) said, “National Geographic Traveller (UK) is looking forward to working with Sarawak Tourism on this multi-platform campaign for 2023, including video, digital, social and print. We welcome the opportunity to send a video team, writer and photographer to Sarawak to experience the destination first-hand and then create original content, which will be seen by millions of UK travellers.”

Sarawak Tourism Board will also showcase its nature and wildlife video entitled “Wild Side of Sarawak” during the signing ceremony at the Sarawak Pavilion.

Datu Hii Chang Kee, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak said, “We are so proud to showcase the ’Wild Side of Sarawak’ video. It showcases not only Sarawak’s most renowned flora and fauna like the orang utan and the rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world, but also prized birds endemic to Borneo such as the Dulit Frogmouth, a rare submontane resident, and the cheeky proboscis monkeys which are endemic to the jungles of Borneo.”

“An additional aspect to this video is the original soundtrack which infuses the sounds of our traditional musical instruments, further highlighting the affiliation between our native cultures and wildlife,” he added.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) along with its local travel partners will tap further into Responsible Tourism and promote Sarawak’s niche tourism and community-based tourism products such as cycling, birding, eco homestays, and many more in WTM this year. 

Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, offers an alternative for those seeking authenticity far from the tourist-trap clichés. The region takes pride in five pillars of tourism: culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals or CANFF. From immersing themselves in the lifestyles of the many indigenous tribes at their longhouses and exploring gigantic caves at the iconic Gunong Mulu National Park to discovering community festivals and mouth-watering regional specialities, meaning travellers can choose to experience Sarawak in a variety of ways. 

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Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad Captain Izham Ismail (seated left) and STB CEO Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor (seated right) at the MoU signing ceremony between STB and Malaysia Airlines Berhad. Witnessing the signing are (L-R) the Regional Manager (UK & Europe) for Malaysia Airlines Mr Daniel Bainbridge, STB BOD Member Tuan Haji Mohamad Taufik Ghani and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datu Hii Chang Kee.


Commercial Director for National Geographic Traveller Matt Midworth (2nd Left) and STB CEO Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor (2nd Right) at the MOU Signing ceremony between STB and National Geographic Traveller. Witnessing the signing are the Editor for National Geographic Traveller Ms Flora Neighbour, STB BOD Member Tuan Haji Mohamad Taufik Ghani and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datu Hii Chang Kee.


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