Offer represents about 80 per cent discount from normal fare
KUCHING: MASwings is offering ‘Groovy Online Offers’, a one-way ticket from Bintulu, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu or Labuan to Miri at RM39 each in conjunction with the Miri International Jazz Festival on May 9-10.
Minister of Urban Development and Tourism Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh who announced this yesterday said the offer represented about 80 per cent discount of the normal fare.
“The special fare is available for online purchase at MASwings website. Also, the first 50 customers will be given free entry passes to the Miri International Jazz Festival,” he told a news conference at Baitul Makmur in Petra Jaya yesterday.
Wong, who is also Second Finance Minister, was confident that the close cooperation between MASwings and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) would help better promote the festival among locals and foreigners.
“The jazz festival is becoming popular as this is the third consecutive year it is being held. It brings in both local and international jazz groups to perform here,” he said, adding that the festival would gradually receive overwhelming response like Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).
Citing RWMF as an example, he said its debut 11 years ago only managed to attract 600 spectators, with half of the passes given free.
“Today, the number of RWMF revellers has reached 24,000. About 60 per cent of them are foreigners. It is thus hoped that the jazz festival would follow suit and become a major festival in Miri.”
Wong said Miri, with room occupancy of at least 3,000 would be able to meet the accommodation need of about 6,000 visitors expected during the two-day festival.
Earlier, MASwings managing director Dr Amin Khan said the wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) took pride in collaborating with STB to promote the jazz festival as a leading tourism-driven musical festival in the region.
“This is in line with MASwings’ objective to revitalise the economy and tourism industry of Sarawak and Sabah.”
Amin also said the involvement of MASwings in the festival was also meant to keep up with its aspiration to contribute towards the quality of life of the local communities.
“Through the jazz festival, with the presence of regionally and internationally recognised jazz musicians, we hope to increase the experience and appreciation of performing arts among the local community,” he said.
He pledged that MASwings would go all out to boost tourist arrivals in the state.
On ‘Groovy Online Offers’, he said that 500 seats had been allocated for the discounted fares, and that online booking could be made until May 2.
Asked why Kuching was excluded from the offer, Amin said: “MASwings has no Kuching-Miri direct flight yet. It will however offer three flights each for the Sibu-Miri and Kota Kinabalu-Miri sectors, two Miri-Bintulu, and four Miri-Labuan flights during the two-day festival.”
Meanwhile, STB corporate manager Benedict Jimbau disclosed that 1,500 tickets for May 9 and 1,800 tickets for May 10 had been sold out as of April 18.
“We are expecting some 3,000 spectators each night,” he said, adding that the festival received 4,000 visitors last year.
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