Routes Asia 2014 returns to Malaysia

7 September 2013

Routes Asia will return to Malaysia for the fifth time in 2014 with the event taking place in Kuching, the capital of the state of Sarawak. We find out more about the host city and what the event promises for delegates.

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

Routes Asia returns to Malaysia for the fifth time in 2014. It takes place in Kuching, the historic capital city of the state of Sarawak dating back hundreds of years and with a current population of around 600,000.

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 is abundant in wildlife including rare and endangered species such as the hornbill and the orangutan.

"By 2015, the Open Sky Policy will be fully lifted, allowing all airlines to fly to all ASEAN destinations of their choice."

Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari, Minister of Tourism for Sarawak, said: "Routes Asia coming into Sarawak for the first time will mean a great tourism boost as it will give us the opportunity to showcase our unique attractions to the aviation and tourism industry and, above all, to tell the world that Kuching, Sarawak is capable and ever ready to hold any big congress - something many may not have known."

Kuching: accessible and well served

Air transport to Sarawak is served by four major airports - Kuching International, 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, among others.

By 2015, the Open Sky Policy will be fully lifted, allowing all airlines to fly to all ASEAN destinations of their choice. Having Routes Asia 2014 in Kuching will expose Sarawak's potential to the world's airlines. The event will also follow a key year in the country, namely Sarawak Tourism Year 2013, which is being held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysian independence.

"Malaysia Airports looks forward to partnering with the state of Sarawak in ensuring a greatly successful forum."

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, managing director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, which is working with the Sarawak team, commented: "We are delighted and honoured that Routes Asia will once again reach the shores of Malaysia in 2014, this time in the majestic and enthralling city of Kuching, Sarawak. Malaysia Airports looks forward to partnering with the state of Sarawak in ensuring a greatly successful forum, which will be productive and fondly remembered by all delegates."

New opportunities at Routes Asia

Sarawak received 3.8 million visitors in 2011, and over four million in 2012. This promises potential new business opportunities, jobs and, above all, route potential.

"Ten years ago, our regional events began in Malaysia and we are delighted to be returning in 2014," said David Stroud, executive vice-president, Routes. "Sarawak is a stunning location, which will provide our delegates with a chance to visit this unique destination. The enthusiasm and dedication of the entire host team promise to make Routes Asia in 2014 another successful event."

Previous Routes Asia host cities have been: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2003-05), Pattaya, Thailand (2006), Hainan, China (2007), Macau, China (2008), Hyderabad, India (2009), Adelaide, Australia (2010), Incheon, South Korea (2011), Chengdu, China (2012) and Mumbai, India (2013).

Find out more about Routes 2014 at

David Stroud, executive vice-president of Routes (third from left) with Minister of Tourism for Sarawek Datuk Amar Abdul Rahman Zohari (fourth from left), at the 18th World Route Development Forum in Abu Dhabi.

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