Kota Kinabalu: The City has been officially themed "A Nature Resort City", in line with its aspiration to create its own identity and capitalise on its tourism uniqueness.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the theme was approved by the State Cabinet on March 17 last year and hoped it would be used consistently and long lasting.
"What is important is the development of the city is parallel with the theme," he said when launching the theme at the Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort here Tuesday.
His speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat.
He said the State Government spent more than RM100 million annually, especially to promote Sabah as the Land Below the Wind destination through various events, trade events and other promotions.
Although the country had faced extraordinary challenges due to circumstances beyond control such as the tsunami natural disaster and spread of bird flu, the number of tourist arrivals had increased from 1.773 million in 2004 to 1.821 million in 2005 (2.7 per cent increase).
In this respect, he said the target of 2.7 million arrivals in 2007 is not impossible coupled with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign.
Every city in the world already had their own tagline such as Kuala Lumpur being the City of Lights, Kuching the Cat City, Penang the Pearl of the Orient and New York as the City That Never Sleeps.
"The effort by City Hall is timely since the theme chosen is apt, realistic, depicting strength and uniqueness while such criterions cannot be found easily in other places."
With the theme, Musa believed it would be able to emboss the city's image and provide better perception and get the confidence as well as loyalty of the residence.
Musa called on the City Hall to draw up a strategy to promote the theme and get the support from all especially the tourism key-players, be it government agencies, private sector or NGOs.
Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim said the new theme was found to be most suitable. Previous ones have been Tropical Rainforest City and Tropical Garden City.
Source: Daily Express