Routes 2012: Sarawak tourism minister Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari in Abu Dhabi

Routes 2012: Sarawak tourism minister Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari in Abu Dhabi From left to right: Dato Rashid Khan, chief executive of Sarawak Tourism Board, Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah, general manager, Malaysia Airports. David Stroud, executive vice president, Routes, Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari, minister of tourism, Sarawak, Katie Bland, future hosts director, Routes, Andrew Rowe, vice president operations, Routes, and Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, permanent secretary, ministry of yourism Sarawak

Further to the announcement earlier this year that Routes Asia will return to Malaysia in 2014 when the event takes place in Kuching, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari, minister of tourism for Sarawak has travelled to Abu Dhabi for the 18th World Route Development Forum.

Earlier today senior members of the Routes Team met with the minister who was joined at World Routes by a large delegation from the Sarawak Tourism Board and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad who will jointly host the 2014 event.

This will be the fifth time that a Routes event has taken place in Malaysia.

In 2003 the first Routes Asia event, also the first ever Routes regional event, was held in Sepang hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad who went on to host Routes Asia for the following two years and World Routes 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.

Sarawak is the largest of the Malaysian states and is situated on the island of Borneo which is home to the world’s oldest tropical rainforests and abundant in wildlife including rare and endangered species such as the hornbill and the orang-utan.

The historic capital city of Kuching has a population of around 600,000 and dates back hundreds of years, today Kuching remains the central hub and gateway to Sarawak.

Speaking at World Routes in Abu Dhabi Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah, general manager marketing for Malaysia Airports said: “We are delighted that Routes Asia will return to Malaysia in 2014 and we look forward very much to partner with the Sarawak government to host this exciting event.

“We believe Routes Asia 2014 will be the ideal platform to further establish Kuching and Sarawak in the world tourism map and the event will be an ‘eye opener’ for many airlines that will certainly facilitate the airline’s decision to mount service to the capital city of Sarawak.”

Air transport to Sarawak is served by four major airports; Kuching International Airport, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri Airports and as the region has frequent air links from major aviation hubs Kuching is one of the most accessible cities in Malaysia.

Flights to Kuching are available from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is served by more than 50 carriers, Singapore and Jakarta amongst others.

Sarawak received 3.8 million visitors in 2011 a number which it anticipates will increase in 2012. This promises potential new business opportunities, jobs and above all route potential.