A taste for adventure. A passion for nature. Datuk Tan Kok Liang's drive in delivering all manner of leisure and incentive travel experiences has established Borneo Trails as a leader in its field. As director of Borneo Trails Tours & Travel, and president of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Datuk Tan has been a vocal leader in the tourism industry for 28 years.
Datuk Tan continues to keep his eye on the future and a finger on the pulse of incentive travel demands. "Transformational travel is the key theme right now. Clients are starting to demand much more than just a luxurious experience. Instead, they are looking to create positive memories that will last beyond the travel period.
"We are also seeing a move away from the traditional beach destination. The demand is more on culturally-connected and experience-driven trips which could be as simple as a game of beach football with the local kids or a traditional welcome which is authentic and unique," says Datuk Tan.
Home to amazing UNESCO heritage sites, Borneo's wildlife, rainforest and Mt. Kota Kinabalu, which has the world's highest mountaintop trail, is a veritable stomping ground for adventurers, nature fans and sports enthusiasts, many of whom have been on incentive travel groups with Borneo Trails. Comprising groups of about 250 pax to 580 pax from Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and the US, they range from industries such as pharmaceuticals, finance, insurance, manufacturing and multilevel marketing.
"I do expect incentive travel demand to grow, especially the size of the groups, as the new Sabah International Convention Centre located within Kota Kinabalu City's central business district will be completed by end-2018. Our room inventory is decent for four- and five-star hotels, about 6,300 rooms, and will serve the needs of corporate groups," shares Datuk Tan.
He added that this boost will in turn facilitate the enhancement of service standards, diversification of tour products, upgrade of transportation services, and creation of more exciting local experiences that will advance the tourism agenda for the region.