Thursday, February 09, 2006

Growth Of High-End Tourism Crucial To Sabah Tourism

KOTA KINABALU -- The growth of high-end tourism to attract the rich and famous to Sabah shores is critical to ensure the concerted growth of tourism as a whole for the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

"High-end tourism has special needs, demanding high-quality products and services, well-trained and efficient service staff, and offers a preferred low-impact high yield approach to tourism growth," he said at the opening of a revolving restaurant, Amosphere on the 18th floor of Menara Tun Mustapha formerly known as Menara Yayasan Sabah, here Wednesday night.

He said Menara Tun Mustapha was an important symbol to the people of Sabah and the revival of the revolving restaurant under Amosphere would definitely boost the image of the one great architecture icon in the state and brought back memories to those who had enjoyed the spectacular 360 degree view that the venue offered while enjoying their meals years ago.

The restaurant, which takes 61 minutes to complete a revolution has a seating capacity of 150 people and will be a perfect venue for sunset drinks and relaxing dining experience as it provides sweeping views of Kota Kinabalu, the Crocker Range and the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

The renovation of the restaurant was carried out from start to finish in just three and a half months ago.

Musa said tourism related projects like Amosphere provided additional stimulating activities for visitors travelling to Sabah as it was not enough to just offer day trips and overnight excursions to the jungle though eco-tourism was indeed the backbone of the industry.

Nowadays tourists wanted a well-rounded experience with vacation highlights including dining and shopping, he said.

"While we may indeed have some of the best seafood in the world, many people want choice throughout their stay, and this is where establishments such as Amosphere will satisfy this demand," said Musa.

Meanwhile, Managing Director Asia Group of Companies Phil Dobson said the development of a super high end tourism sector in Sabah would lure the rich and famous to the state and would bring fame and awareness for Sabah across the world.

The opening of Amosphere, which was operated by Asia Group of Companies, was a signal to other international high end tourism investors that the state government welcomed such high end development in Sabah, he said.

The revolving restaurant on Menara Tun Mustapha which was the first revolving restaurant in Malaysia, was formerly known as Sri Kayangan and popular among tourists and locals when it opened its doors in late 1970's but it ceased operation after two decades of its inception.


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