Sarawak Tourism Board ramps up digital strategy as it cuts tradeshow presence

STB investing in digital advertising

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is cutting back on consumer fair and tradeshow participation in favour of digital advertising.

“We will substitute our presence with advertising on digital portals and encourage industry players to sell their packages through online platforms,” stated STB’s acting CEO Mary Wan Mering.

STB investing in digital advertising

She added that the tourism board will be “very selective” about which B2B travel trade fairs to participate in. In particular, STB intends to be present at niche fairs for suitable offerings like birding, diving and caving.

STB is also in the midst of researching what shows to attend in order to reach out to key markets including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe, according to Wan.

“This year, we are deliberating whether to attend ITB Berlin where traditionally we used to have space under the Tourism Malaysia pavilion,” she told TTG Asia.

“If we choose not to attend, industry players can still attend under Tourism Malaysia’s country pavilion or under Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’ (MATTA) pavilion. Most of our inbound players are also members of MATTA.”

TTG Asia understands that STB’s shift towards digital marketing is in line with the state government’s push for the digital economy and cost savings.

On a local level, STB will not be participating in the MITA Fair, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur from January 19 to 21, or the MATTA Fair in Kuala Lumpur this March.

However, it will be at the MATTA Fair in September, where sellers typically target holidaymakers for the year-end school holiday break from November 23 up to the New Year.