Thursday, November 04, 2004

NEWS: Sabah hopes for more overseas direct flights to boost golf

Date: 4 November 2004

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Environment welcomes more scheduled direct flights to Sabah by airlines from the Asia Pacific region, particularly to promote the State as a golfing haven.

“We hope airlines that have already secured direct flights to Sabah would consider increasing the number of flights,” said its minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat.

“Sabah can be considered as one of the best golfing haven in Asia. And with more direct flights coming in – especially from other Asian countries – the number of avid golfing tourist arrivals would certainly improve,” said the minister, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister.

“With concerted efforts and aggressive overseas marketing, we expect the number of Asian golfing enthusiasts as well as tourists to increase by 1.5 million to 1.7 million people within the next two to three years,” he said at a dinner here to welcome about 90 South Korean golfers.

The South Koreans have signed up the Destination Golf Members Club, which is being marketed by the Sabah Tourism Board to lure Asian golfers to utilise existing direct flights to the State.

The club, which was launched by Chong in October last year, has so far seen more than 1,500 avid South Korean golfers and their family members signing up.

“Apart from the South Koreans, we are also targeting golfers in Japan and China next year,” said Chong.

During the function, senior advisor to the Destination Golf Members Tournament Lee Young Ho presented a US$5,000 donation to the Bukit Harapan Home.

Chong then gave away prizes to the winners of the tournament, which was played over golf courses at Sutera Harbour Resort, Karambunai Resort and Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club.

Source: New Sabah Times