AirAsia’s new daily service from Kuching to Indonesia's Pontianak, commencing June 5, comes at an opportune time for Sarawak as it aspires to attract more medical tourists from the neighbouring country.
Sarawak Tourism Board is eager to leverage the opportunity to promote medical tourism to those residing in Pontianak. The route is currently monopolised by Indonesia’s Xpress Air, operating daily.
Acting CEO at Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Mary Wan Mering, said: “There are five private medical hospitals in Kuching promoting medical tourism to Indonesians (and) STB started to promote (the segment) overseas this year.
“We did a B2B roadshow in Bandung this month and hope to do a similar one in Pontianak later this year where outbound agents in (Pontianak) can meet with representatives from medical centres in Kuching and inbound players.”
Gracie Geikie, director/principal consultant, Place Borneo, a local PCO, also welcomes the new connection as an alternative route for Jakarta delegates attending medical conferences in Kuching.
She added: “It is also timely for us as we are the PCO for the 10th International Meeting of Asian Society of Conservation Medicine this October and the new flights will help with delegate boosting activities in Indonesia.”
Around 300 delegates are expected to attend the conference, of which 30 per cent will come from Indonesia.