KOTA KINABALU (Nov 16): Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA) is targeting up to RM10 million in sales from the Sabah Virtual Travel Fair 2021 (SVTF2021) held from November 16 to 29.
Its president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said the virtual fair was expected to attract thousands of visitors daily over two weeks.
In line with the slogan ‘Dream Now, Book First and Visit Later’, he said travellers would have the flexibility to defer their travel dates if borders were closed.
“I believe our sales target will greatly increase with this kind of flexibility.
“We are talking about RM10 million in sales,” he said during a virtual media conference to celebrate the launch of SVTF2021 yesterday.
SVTF2021 has over 50 booths with more than 1,000 travel packages being offered during the two-week duration of the fair.
Visitors can enjoy a new experience in immersive 360 virtual reality platform, engage with exhibitors and subject matter experts via the live chat function and connect with travel-related vendors specialising in travel and tours, airlines, education tourism, food tourism, property tourism, hotel and resorts.
Liaw is confident that the two-week virtual travel fair would boost the sales of tourism players.
He said tourist attractions and hotels were faring well since the interstate travel restrictions were lifted, followed by the transition to Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) in Sabah.
“People have been under lockdown for 21 months and they cannot wait to travel.”
He said the SVTF2021 would focus on travel packages to Europe, Middle East and United Arab Emirates, which Malaysian visitors could travel to.
Liaw also highlighted tourism-related flash deals during the travel fair, where tour packages would be offered at highly-discounted price or even below cost price, in the effort to stimulate the tourism industry.
“So do pop into our virtual travel fair and grab hold of the flash deals,” he urged.
On another note, Liaw said having an immersive 360 virtual fair was a way for Satta to bring travellers and tourism-related businesses together without having to produce a physical event.
He said the association collaborated with influencers such as Miss World Malaysia beauty queens in order to tap into new markets and reach out to a wider online audience locally and globally.
“With effective low-cost marketing via digital channels, this presents an incredible opportunity for us to expand our market reach swiftly and widely.”
He said Satta would continue to promote Sabah as a fun-filled, exciting and premier eco-tourism destination.
“In collaboration with the Miss World Malaysia Organization and online television platform HyperLive.tv, we will soon be able to produce various creative tourism-related contents and conduct interesting hybrid tours hosted by celebrities and influencers.
“We may also explore introducing augmented reality and virtual reality tours.
“By working closely with these strategic partners, we will successfully pivot into digitalization, overcome the current challenges faced by businesses hit by the pandemic and continue to grow the tourism industry creatively.”
Meanwhile, Miss World Malaysia 2021, Dr Lavanya Sivaji, expressed her desire to visit Sabah after she was selected to represent Malaysia in the prestigious Miss World Grand Final held in Puerto Rico this December.
“I can’t wait to explore Sabah, with travel restrictions being lifted.
“I would love to promote Sabah tourism industry on national and international platforms because Sabah has a lot to offer to the world with its beauty, landscape, food and people,” she said.