Saturday, August 20, 2005

Call to revive Singapore Airlines flights to Sabah

Kota Kinabalu: The direct Singapore Airlines flight from the republic to the State capital needs to be revived to increase tourist flow, said Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Karim Bujang.

It was learnt that the service was discontinued some years back despite good response believed due to pressure from certain quarters. "We hope Singapore Airlines that used to have a weekly direct flight from Singapore to the State capital will consider resuming the service to Sabah.

"I am sure this has tourism potential for both countries and will materialise as it has been discussed," he said after launching a three-day Singapore Tourism Board's Uniquely Singapore Carnival at Centre Point, Friday.

Several travel agents, hotels and private medical centres from Singapore are among those participating in the carnival.

Karim also pointed out that the AirAsia direct flight from the State capital to Senai in Johor held out another great potential that can benefit the State and Singapore in terms of tourism revenue and arrivals.

Karim noted that Silk Air, a subsidiary airline of SIA, now operates direct flights from Singapore to Kuching, Sarawak.

Last year, the Sabah Tourism Board recorded about 15,000 tourists from Singapore while the Singapore Tourism Board records between 7,000 and 8,000 Sabahans travelling to the country, every year.

"Here, you can see that there are many Singaporeans visiting our State but on the contrary, not many Sabahans are taking trips to the Lion City.

In this respect, Karim encouraged locals here to grab the special discounts on accommodations and attractive as well as affordable packages being offered at the carnival.

Singapore has recently been placing special emphasis on tourism in order not to lose out to the ecotourism attractions that are drawing tourists to neighbouring Malaysian states like Sabah and Sarawak.

Sabah last year earned a record RM2 billion revenue from tourism and the sights of caucasians and those from Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Honk Kong are now a familiar sight at the shopping complexes and streets.

Courtesy of Daily Express

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